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Full text of "The Palimpsest"

3 1833 01737 1458 



GENEALOGY 
311 .1 
P176 
1923 



Digitized 


by 


the Internel 


t Archive 








n 2013 







http://archive.org/details/palinnpsest04iowa 



Palimpsest 



EDITED BY 
JOHN ELY BRIGGS 



VOLUME IV 

JANUARY TO DECEMBER 

1923 



PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY 

THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF IOWA 
IOWA CITY IOWA 
1923 



Copyright 1923 by 
The State Historical Society of Iowa 



CONTENTS 
Number 1 — January 1923 

The Siege of Corinth Clint Parkhurst 1 

The Iowa Thespians Bruce E. Mahan 14 

Pleasant Hill Dramatics Bruce E. Mahan 25 

Comment by the Editor 30 

Number 2 — February 1923 

A Confederate Spy Bruce E. Mahan 33 

Ventures in Wheat J. M. D. Burrows 53 

Comment by the Editor 63 

Number 3 — March 1923 

A Man of Vision Bertha Ann Reuter 65 

A Contested Election Jacob Van Ek 78 

Legislative Episodes John Ely Briggs 90 

Comment by the Editor 99 

iii 



iv CONTENTS 

Number 4 — April 1923 

The Iowa Ruth A. Gallaheb 101 

The Winter of Eighty-One 

Josephine Barry Donovan 113 

Tesson's Apple Orchard Ben Hue Wilson 121 

Comment by the Editor 132 

Number 5 — May 1923 

The First Iowa Field Day Bruce E. Mahan 137 

The Capital on Wheels J. A. Swisher 151 

Comment by the Editor 170 

Number 6 — June 1923 

* ' Bob ' ' Burdette — Humorist 

Sherman J. McNally 173 

Grasshopper Times Josephine Barry Donovan 193 

Comment by the Editor 203 



Number 7 

Pointing the Way to Iowa 
The Discovery 



— July 1923 

Laenas G. Weld 
Bruce E. Mahan 



205 
215 



CONTENTS * V 

Father Marquette Ruth B. Middaugh 229 

Louis Joliet John Ely Briggs 240 

Comment by the Editor 249 

Number 8 — August 1923 

Restorer of Iowa Palimpsests 

Bertha M. H. Shambaugh 253 

An Iowa Doone Band Jocelyn Wallace 267 

Comment by the Editor 281 

Number 9 — September 1923 

The Early lowans Geo. F. Robeson 285 

A Pioneer Journey J. M. D. Burrows 301 

Bridging the Cedar Bruce E. Mahan 307 

Comment by the Editor 321 

Number 10 — October 1923 

Kelly's Army Donald L. McMurry 325 

Lieutenant Jefferson Davis Dorothy MacBride 346 

Comment by the Editor 358 



vi CONTENTS 

Number 11 — November 1923 

Over the Eapids Ben Hur Wilson 361 

The Scotch Grove Trail Bruce E. Mahan 379 

Comment by the Editor 398 

Number 12 — December 1923 

The Scrap-Books of a Quiet Little Lady with 

Silvery Hair Bertha M. H. Shambaugh 401 



Comment by the Editor 




428 


Index 




431 


Illustrations 






James Wilson 


facing 


65 


The Iowa 


facing 


106 


The Tesson Apple Orchard Site (Map) 


facing 


130 


Eobert J. Burdette 


facing 


173 


Father Marquette 


facing 


212 


Louis Joliet 


facing 


244 


Facsimile of Herbert Quick's Autograph 


facing 


253 


The Head of the Des Moines Rapids (Map) 


facing 


372 


The Selkirk Settlement (Map) 


facing 


388 


Jane Clark Kirkwood 


facing 


401 




CONTENTS 



The Siege of ICorinth ,1 

' M^A^iy Cunt ParRhIjrst 

The Iowa T'hespians 14 

Bruce E. Mahan 



Pleasant Hill Dramatics 25 

- , . Bruce E, Mahan 

Comment 30 

- The Editor 



Published MonthiyAt lowAQnr By 

-THE State HfiroRicAf SocieiyofIowa 



ENTERED AS SECOND CLASS MATTER JULY 28 1920 AT THE POST OFFICE AT IOWA CITY IOWA 
UNDER THE ACT OF AUCUST 24 1912 



THE PURPOSE OF THIS MAGAZINE 

The Palimpsest, issued monthly by the State His- 
torical Society of Iowa, is devoted to the dissemina- 
tion of Iowa History. Supplementing the other pub- 
lications of this Society, it aims to present the materials 
of Iowa History in a form that is attractive and a style 
that is popular in the best sense — to the end that the 
story of our Commonwealth may be more widely read 
and cherished. 

BENJ. F. Shambaugh 

Superintendeni 



THE MEANING OF PALIMPSESTS 

In early times palimpsests were parchments or other 
materials from which one or more writings had been 
erased to give room for later records. But the eras- 
ures were not always complete; and so it became the 
fascinating task of scholars not only to translate the 
later records but also to reconstruct the original writ- 
ings by deciphering the dim fragments of letters partly 
erased and partly covered by subsequent texts. 

The history of Iowa may be likened to a palimpsest 
which holds the records of successive generations. To 
decipher these records of the past, reconstruct them, 
and tell the stories which they contain is the task of 
those who write history. 



PRICE — lOc per copy: $1 per year: free to members of Society 
ADDRESS— The State Historical Society Iowa City Iowa 



I 



The Palimpsest 

EDITED BY JOHN ELY BRIGGS 
Vol. IV Issued in January 1923 No. 1 

COPYRIGHT 1923 BY THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF IOWA 

The Siege of Corinth 

The reader of history is usually informed that on 
such a day General So-and-so moved on such a road, 
or in such a direction, and occupied such a point with 
so many men, with the view of accomplishing some 
certain stated purpose. This clear, precise, and def- 
inite view of the matter is not taken by the rank and 
file who march in the general's army. A command- 
ing general has no time to arrange and exhibit plans 
with explanatory comments, for the enlightenment 
of his army. It would be very injudicious for him 
to do so if he could. Officers and soldiers are nearly 
always in utmost ignorance of what is about to be 
attempted (unless a charge is impending, on which 
occasion they are, or should be, informed), but it is 
their business to fall in at the tap of the drum, and 
march where glory or disaster awaits them. No 
matter how wise the captains or lieutenants look, 
they know no more about what is in contemplation 

1 



2 



THE PALIMPSEST 



than the men do. Even the colonel — whose orders 
are more imperial and more certain to be carried ont 
than the political schemes of a king or president — 
even that autocrat, five times out of ten, is ignorant 
of where he is going or what he is going for. Our 
colonel, the redoubtable Alexander Chambers, never 
seemed to care, but mounted his horse, gave his com- 
mands, and led the way like a human machine — as 
a colonel should do. 

The real advance of Halleck's army upon Corinth 
began on April 29, 1862. My private journal de- 
scribes our first move. 

*^0n Tuesday noon I arrived in camp from a toil- 
some detail. I had barely time to swallow a dinner 
before the drums beat to fall in line. Orders had 
come to move without tents or knapsacks, and with a 
day's rations in our haversacks. Of our own voli- 
tion we also left our blankets and overcoats behind 
us, in order to be free of incumbrance and ready for 
the fray. The brigade moved in a body, and our 
course was apparently in the direction of the ene- 
my's stronghold. 

^^The afternoon was hot. Our line of march was 
sometimes rough, and at other times lay through 
pleasant places. For a while we would pass through 
cool and shady woods, filled with the odors of flow- 
ers, shrubbery, and sweet blossoms, and then emerge 
into a clearing that formed the homestead of some 
hardy farmer, whose log cabin, dogs, and half-terri- 
fied children seemed a mute protest against the bar- 



THE SIEGE OF CORINTH 



3 



barity of war. Pushing down a few yards of Ms rail 
fence, we would march on through green meadows 
and fragrant orchards. Many little homes, half con- 
cealed by foliage, excited our envy. If we grew 
enthusiastic over the natural beauties around us, 
some swamp was sure to obstruct our way. * For- 
ward ! ' would be the word, and forward our column 
would move through water and mud knee deep, amid 
the shouting of the officers and the swearing of the 
men. At the end of every hour we would halt five or 
ten minutes to rest. 

^^At about dusk several regiments of Union cav- 
alry passed us, galloping to the rear. In reply to 
inquiries as to where they had been, one trooper 
yelled; *To the Land of Nod, where 's there's forty 
devils and no God.' With more courtesy, an officer 
reined in and said they had been raiding on the 
enemy's flank, and had burnt two railroad bridges 
and also captured a locomotive. 

After dark the march was more difficult than 
ever. We floundered through swamps and through 
brush and every sort of jungle, and the Recording 
Angel must have had a severe night's work of it, to 
judge by the multiplicity of oaths we showered 
around. At ten o'clock the welcome order to halt 
was given. After forming a line of battle, and re- 
ceiving strict instructions to build no fires, we 
stacked arms and slept on the ground without cover- 
ing or bedding of any description. 

**At daylight we rose, and with some disregard of 



4 



THE PALIMPSEST 



orders, built a long line of blazing bonfires. After 
drying ourselves, and feeding on crackers and bacon, 
we fell into -line and moved still further towards 
Corinth. We had proceeded only about a mile when 
we came to a halt and faced about, intelligence hav- 
ing been officially sent that some point we had been 
ordered to drive the enemy from had been already 
occupied by Union troops. The news was not grate- 
fully heard, and with loud grumbling we started 
back, reaching camp in the afternoon, much worn by 
the expedition. 

^^May 1st we broke camp, taking tents and equip- 
age with us, and after traversing a delightful region, 
came to our present location — a few miles south of 
the State line of Tennessee, and on the sacred soil 
of Mississippi. I am sitting in a cool grove, the 
boughs of which are filled with feathered songsters. 
In front of me flows a limpid brook, and on a little 
eminence beyond are twelve pieces of artillery, 
frowning in the direction of Corinth. ' ' 

The next morning we pushed on again over excel- 
lent roads till we came to the hamlet of Monterey, 
from which the enemy had been shelled. Fragments 
of old tents, knapsacks, clothing of all kinds, com- 
missary stores, and a little of everything imaginable, 
were flung around promiscuously. Along the route 
we had come, we found the grain fields trampled, 
fences torn down, farms deserted, houses riddled 
with cannon shot or shell, and dead horses lying 
about everywhere, for there had been much cavalry 
fighting. For the first time we saw a field of cotton, 



THE SIEGE OF CORINTH 



5 



and more than ever realized we were in Dixie. A 
citizen yet lingering around the wreck of Monterey, 
told me that after the battle of Shiloh, the Confeder- 
ates who came flying by his home were in utter panic ; 
that discipline and organization were gone, and that 
^4t was every devil for himself to get to Corinth/' 

On the afternoon of May 3d we heard heavy can- 
nonading ahead. I sat on a fence and counted fifty- 
five guns, fired about as fast as I could count them. 
We afterwards learned that the enemy had been 
driven out of Farmington. The next day we moved 
forward two miles, and occupied a heavy line of 
works, with troops in line of battle on either side of 
us. There a slight military misfortune befell me. A 
corporal struck me a blow in the face. For retorting 
with the butt of a musket, I was arrested on the 
charge — as the boys phrased it — of smiting an 
inferior officer." After passing a night in the guard- 
tent, I was ordered to my company for duty. 

Thus far we had not encountered the enemy, al- 
though expecting to at any hour, as skirmishing and 
fighting were going on continually. On the 16th we 
pressed his lines for the first time, while making 
another advance, and skirmishers deployed in force 
at the front of our brigade. A lively fight ensued 
immediately, without formalities, and leaden epis- 
tles to the Corinthians" flew thick and fast. In 
about an hour, with the assistance of a little grape 
and canister, the woods were cleared of Confeder- 
ates, and, advancing to a position that seemed satis- 
factory, we halted and threw up a line of works. 



6 



THE PALIMPSEST 



That night our regiment performed grand 
guard'' duty for the first; time. We marched into 
the woods a little to the rear of the skirmish line, and 
remained there all night, in one body, in readiness to 
repulse any heavy attack the enemy might make. A 
few men from each company did sentry duty, in or- 
der to give alarm in case of danger, and the others, 
with accoutrements on, were allowed to lie on the 
ground and sleep. I happened to be one of those on 
guard. Extremely tired, and not being well accus- 
tomed to marching as yet, in the warm, close at- 
mosphere of a dense wood, we found it difficult to 
keep awake. Eesorting to various expedients, I fell 
at last to wooing the muses, and evolved the follow- 
ing: 

ODE TO THE PLAXET MAES 

Eed star of War ! while armies sleep. 
To march to slaughter at the dawn, 

'Tis mine a faithful watch to keep. 
Lest suddenly the foe come on. 

I peer into the gloomy wood, 

Alarmed at some portentous sound, 

Then gaze on thee, red orb of blood, 
Whose beams a warring world confound. 

0, from among the stars retire, 
Elsewhere send forth thy rays malign, 

Thou baleful globe of restless fire, 
Man's blood is poured for thee like wine. 



THE SIEGE OF CORINTH 



7 



The next afternoon I strolled along our lines to 
view the stirring operations in progress. Mounting 
a breastwork, I walked on the top of it for more 
than a mile, and was told by an officer that to his 
personal knowledge, it extended three miles beyond 
that point. It was occupied by troops, of course, 
w^ith batteries at intervals. 

I had no sooner returned from this ramble than 
the pickets and skirmishers of our part of the line 
were driven in by the Confederates, with much shoot- 
ing, and many piercing variations of the famous 
rebel yel^^ The drums rolled and the troops fell 
in everywhere ; the pickets were promptly reinforced 
and the enemy was driven back. Our brigade was 
ordered to pack up, send tents, wagons, and baggage 
to the rear, and be ready to move at a moment's 
notice. 

In the afternoon the skirmish line was again 
driven in, and rebel batteries opened on our bivouac, 
pelting us in a lively manner. Most of the missiles 
were shells. Our batteries responded, and for a time 
it sounded as though the battle we had been so long 
expecting was really about to commence. A regi- 
ment of infantry went on the double-quick down into 
the woods, and after some heavy volleys of musketry, 
we heard that one of the enemy's batteries had been 
captured. General Morgan L. Smith's brigade had 
a sharp fight that day also, somewhere on the line 
beyond us. All day long, and through most of the 
night, the booming of cannon and rattle of small 



8 



THE PALIMPSEST 



arms was heard along the front of the army, which 
must have been a distance of ten or fifteen miles. 

On the next day a heavy thunder storm swept over 
the camps and lines of both armies. Peals of thun- 
der echoed and bellowed through the wide woods, as 
though in rivalry of the noise of cannonading. 

Our part of the line was close to Corinth then — 
so close that when the universal uproar quieted some 
we could hear the whistling of locomotives and the 
rumbling of trains. Deserters came stealing across 
to our picket lines daily, to surrender. They told a 
uniform tale of miserable rations, half-rations, im- 
pressments, and military executions. A general con- 
scription act was being enforced with great severity, 
and, as Grant afterwards tersely expressed it, the 
Confederate government was robbing the cradle and 
the grave to fill its armies. Grey-haired men and 
half-grown boys were alike dragged from home to 
become food for powder. These deserters also said 
a scarcity of water was causing sickness and many 
deaths in Beauregard's camps. Not only was water 
scarce, but foul water had to be used, greatly injur- 
ing the health of the troops. 

Water was also scarce in the Union camps, at the 
front of our division at least, and on May 21st a 
bloody engagement occurred for the possession of a 
creek that lay between the rival skirmish lines. A 
party of the enemy stole through the woods to obtain 
water, and found a lot of our pickets at the creek. 
A fight ensued, both sides being reinforced, and after 



THE SIEGE OF CORINTH 



9 



obstinate combat our men held possession of the 
creek. A few hours afterwards the enemy shelled 
our camps, picket reserves, and skirmish lines 
viciously; our batteries replied with spirit, and some 
heavy volleys of musketry indicated that another 
fight for water had probably commenced. All day 
long the skirmishers of the two armies blazed away 
at one another, the firing at times almost rising to 
the dignity of a battle. Frequently artillery was 
brought into action to prevent the pickets of one side 
from driving their adversaries back upon the main 
body. The opposing armies lay like two sullen mon- 
sters slowly gathering strength for an impending 
death struggle. 

At this time the weather was delightful, for the 
line of battle ran through a forest apparently bound- 
less. The troops — in our vicinity at least — had 
fully stripped for action, being without tents, wag- 
ons, or baggage, well supplied with ammunition, and 
ready to fight at a minute's notice. Our sleeping 
apartments consisted mainly of rustic bowers 
formed of the boughs and branches of trees. Not 
unf requently the recumbent warrior was roused from 
gentle dreams of lady love or home by cold contact 
with an intruding snake or lizard. Though snakes 
abounded in the South and often shared a soldier's 
bed, I never heard of anyone being bitten. A general 
impression prevailed that snakes would not bite a 
sleeping man. 

The twenty-sixth of May found us in the reserve, 



10 



THE PALIMPSEST 



the army having made another lunge forward (and 
covered its front with earthworks), leaving onr bri- 
gade a trifle to the rear. Everything being placid 
around us, the colonel had excuse for his favorite 
pastime. He trotted us out to the drill ground and 
gave us three hours of company drill in the forenoon 
and four hours of battalion drill in the afternoon, 
which we thought sufficient in view of the balmy 
weather. 

On May 28th our regiment had its first formal 
military burial. We had buried plenty of men, but 
not in regulation style. A comrade having died, the 
colonel improved the opportunity to show us how 
the government desired to have us buried. The 
body was laid out in uniform on a stretcher, and 
borne through camp to the melancholy rolling of 
muffled drums. An escort marched with arms re- 
versed. The bottom of the grave having first been 
strewn with green boughs and green leaves, the body 
was rolled in a blanket and respectfully lowered to 
place. Over it other leaves and boughs were strewn. 
In a gentle manner earth was spilled in till the corpse 
was covered, then the grave was filled up. The 
firing squad discharged three volleys over the grave, 
and the detail marched back to quarters to the sound 
of lively music. 

At daylight on the morning of May 30th our regi- 
ment passed the outer intrenchments of the army. 
Leaving five companies on reserve, the rest of us de- 
ployed in the woods and relieved part of the troops 



THE SIEGE OF CORINTH 



11 



on the skirmisli line. Soon after sunrise extraor- 
dinary explosions, apparently within the enemy's 
[ lines, excited universal attention. The roar was not 
[ like cannonading precisely, nor very much like 
ij thunder. We had never heard the like of it before. 

An officer said it was the firing of mortars by some 
I of Pope's troops. We were in thick woods. No 
I Confederates had yet been seen. Indeed, we had re- 
ceived no instructions to hunt for them, though we 
thought they could be readily found if wanted. 
These heavy explosions, however, suggested the pos- 
sibility that Corinth was being evacuated — that the 
enemy was blowing up his powder magazines. 

After a brief consultation, the commanding officer 
of that part of the picket line ordered Lieutenant 
Thomas Purcell, of our company, and our fourth 
corporal to go forward and ascertain if any Confed- 
erate sharpshooters were in front of us. I had per- 
mission to go also. Cocking our muskets and hold- 
ing them in readiness to fire, the corporal and I 
advanced with the lieutenant. We stealthily thread- 
ed our way through an intervening wood and reached 
the edge of a clearing. After looking about carefully 
in every direction, and seeing no signs of the enemy, 
we decided to cross the clearing. On the other side 
of it was a little grove where we feared we might be 
captured or killed, but on entering it we found no 
one there. It occupied the crest of a slight eminence. 
The quietness around rendered us bolder, and we 
passed on through the grove. 



12 



THE PALIMPSEST 



At tlie opposite border, we came in full view of 
Beauregard's breastworks, forts, and intrencbments, 
stretching away for miles on either side. They ap- 
peared utterly deserted. Not a flag or soldier was 
visible anywhere. In front of us was an abatis of 
fallen trees, beyond which ran a line of rifle trenches 
for sharpshooters, but we could see nobody over 
there. The corporal was sent back to report what he 
kncAV, and to say that Corinth was evacuated without 
a doubt. 

The lieutenant and I then made a bold march for 
the rifle pits, and finding them unoccupied, became 
perfectly satisfied that the Confederate army was 
gone. There might be stragglers or a rear guard of 
skirmishers on the high hill, but in some excitement 
we continued on till we reached the main breastwork 
of Beauregard's line. It was of earth, twelve feet 
high at that point, and had embrasures, at intervals, 
for heavy artillery. Mounting the work, we took off 
our hats and gave three cheers for the Union army. 
As far as the eye could see were the formidable 
works of the foe, but in them we saw no defenders. 

We had not been there many minutes before the 
space between our picket line and the rebel fortifica- 
tions was dotted with scouts and skirmishers who 
had heard the tidings and ran across to see for them- 
selves. Cheer after cheer went up from little groups, 
then the skirmish line caught the contagion, and 
thence it spread to the line of battle, which made the 
woods ring with triumphal cheers. Bands followed 



THE SIEGE OF CORINTH 



13 



quickly with victorious music ; here and there a regi- 
ment moved across to plant its flag on the walls of 
the famons stronghold; and thousands of troops 
were soon in eager but vain pursuit of the foe. 

Clint Paekhuest 



The Iowa Thespians 



Amusements during the thirties in the outpost 
settlement of Dubuque, or in any of the border 
towns, were none too plentiful. True, the Lafayette 
Circus Company of New York had performed for 
several nights to large audiences in Dubuque, a 
menagerie of wild animals had been exhibited at 
settlements along the Mississippi Eiver, and a few 
strolling mimics, singers, and gymnasts had dis- 
played their skill in the dining rooms of the taverns 
at Davenport, Bloomington (Muscatine), and Bur- 
lington, but for the most part the tragic muse was 
unwooed in the Iowa country. 

Partly to relieve the monotony of the long winter 
evenings and partly to satisfy natural dramatic in- 
clinations, a' group of young men in Dubuque organ- 
ized the Iowa Thespian Association early in 1838. 
The lure of the footlights and the desire to tread the 
boards in sock and buskin have always possessed 
fascination. The formation of this band of players 
— probably the first amateur dramatic company on 
Iowa soil — was prompted by the same charm of the 
stage that to-day attracts members into the Drama 
League and invigorates the Little Theatre move- 
ment. 

The Thespian Association was fortunate in select- 
ing a place for their theater that was already well 



THE IOWA THESPIANS 



15 



and favorably known in the community. The 
Shakespeare Coffee Honse and Free Admission 
News Eoom, maintained by Charles Corkery in a 
two-story building near the corner of Main and Sec- 
ond streets, had been opened a short time before. 
The loiva News for November 15, 1837, carried his 
opening announcement which called the attention of 
the public to the attractions of the place. Patrons 
were to enjoy free use of legislative and congres- 
sional proceedings and newspapers from all parts of 
the Union, Canada, and Texas, as well as ready 
access to a superior and well selected assortment of 
wines, liquors, and cordials at the bar *^cash up''. 
The large upstairs room of this popular building was 
selected by the Thespians as the scene of their the- 
atricals and was given the appropriate name of 
Shakespeare Hall. 

The young men proceeded to rearrange the room 
in a comfortable style well adapted to their needs. 
A stage was built across one corner at an elevation 
of three or four feet above the floor. The body of 
the hall was filled with rows of seats, and the Thes- 
pian artist spread lurid colors on the scenery and 
the front drop. 

When the sun had disappeared behind the high 
bluffs to the West and darkness had fallen upon the 
frozen Mississippi the amateur actors met in Shakes- 
peare Hall to rehearse their plays and songs. The 
crackling oak logs in the huge fireplace and the semi- 
circle of sputtering candle footlights created an 



16 



THE PALIMPSEST 



atmosphere that incited them to noble efforts. Nor 
did they hesitate to attempt the heaviest roles in the 
leading plays of the day — such as the thrilling his- 
torical drama, England's Iron Days", and the 
notable success, ^'Pizarro", by August F. F. von 
Kotzebue, which had been the most popular play in 
England for a decade or more. 

An item in the Iowa News for February 3, 1838, 
reported that some of the parts in the early produc- 
tions of the Association *^were admirably played, 
and all the plays were well received and applauded. 
Several national and sentimental songs were sung, 
in a beautiful strain, by a young gentleman pos- 
sessed of musical powers which if cultivated, bid fair 
to rival the best vocalists of the day." Shakespeare 
Hall was recommended to the lovers of mirth as a 
place well calculated to drive dull care away during 
a long winter evening. 

The most pretentious offering of the Iowa Thes- 
pians during the first season of their existence was 
a patriotic thriller in five acts, entitled ^^The Glory 
of Columbia her Yeomanry" by "William Dunlap, the 
father of the American drama. It had been written 
for a Fourth of July production by its manager- 
author and had been played at the Park Theatre in 
New York for the first time in 1803. Under the 
capable leadership and direction of Thomas C. 
Fassett, A. J. Anderson, and George L. Nightingale 
the large cast became letter perfect in their lines and 
proficient in the stage business of the play. At the 



THE IOWA THESPIANS 



17 



same time other members of the Thespians practiced 
a number of songs for the afterpiece, without which 
no theatrical performance was complete in those 
days. 

The following advertisement, one column wide and 
two inches long, appeared in the Iowa News on 
February 24, 1838, announcing the event of the sea- 
son to the people of Dubuque. 

THBATEICAL 
THE IOWA THESPIAN ASSOCIATION 

WILL PERFORM 

On Monday night, the 26th inst., in DuBnque at 
the Shakspeare House, the much admired play of 

THE GLORY OF COLUMBIA 

(By William Dunlap, Esq.) 

And conclude with a variety of Songs, Duets, Trios. 
N. B. Children under 10 years of age not admitted. 
Tickets to be had at the bar of the Shakspeare. 

The performance attracted an appreciative audi- 
ence that filled the hall to overflowing, and many 
were denied admission for lack of room. Great was 
the satisfaction and loud the applause of the early 
patrons of the drama as the curtain fell upon the 
successive acts of the patriotic play. No doubt the 
enthusiastic and noisy appreciation mounted also 
with each visit between acts to the hospitable bar 



18 



THE PALIMPSEST 



below. In fact, the play proved so popular that the 
Iowa Thespians were obliged to repeat it on the next 
Saturday night, March 3, 1838. At this performance 
they inserted as an added attraction for the after- 
piece the laughable farce, Gretna Green 

All in all, the first season of the Iowa Thespian 
Association proved more successful than the san- 
guine hopes of its founders had anticipated and 
plans were made for a longer and more elaborate 
dramatic season the following winter. 

The second year of the organization was made 
noteworthy by the visit of the McKenzie-Jefferson 
company, the first troupe of professional actors with 
a metropolitan reputation to visit the newly created 
Territory of Iowa. The group included Alexander 
McKenzie and his wife, Joseph Jefferson, his wife, 
daughter, and son, Joseph (Rip), then a boy of ten, 
Germon, Leicester, Burke, Warren, Sankey, Wright, 
Stafford, and Mesdames Germon and Ingersoll. 

They had come on a barnstorming trip by the lake 
route to open a new theater in the town of Chicago, 
then a place of some two thousand people. It was 
the first lap of a roving trip through the West and 
South. The Jeffersons and their troupe passed 
Indians, and glided by small villages, destined some 
day to become great cities. ' ' On the way to Dubuque 
*^the company's scenery dropped into the Missis- 
sippi Eiver, while forest and castle ran away in 
streaks of color across the canvas. Jefferson III 
nothing daunted, went courageously to work, re- 



THE IOWA THESPIANS 



19 



painting the smeared landscapes.'^ On another oc- 
casion ^Hhese travellers got into trouble, where a 
lawyer had to be called in. They employed a gaunt 
and awkward looking man — none other than Abra- 
ham Lincoln — to aid them in their difficulties.'' 
For a time ^^the father of ^Eip' turned sign-painter 
for the nonce." Again the Jefferson family went 
down-stream on a raft, with scenery serving as 
sails, whole fields and balustrades flung to the 
breeze." Sometimes barns ^Svere fitted up as the- 
atres; candles spilled wax around, and shed a dim, 
flickering light on a squalid room. Not frills and 
fancies, but rough, healthy democracy greeted them 
every where. ' ' 

That part of the trip which took the company 
overland from Chicago to Galena, thence up the 
frozen Mississippi to Dubuque, is best described by 
Joseph J etf erson in his delightful autobiography. 

After a short season in Chicago, with the vary- 
ing success which in those days always attended the 
drama, the company went to Galena for a short sea- 
son, traveling in open wagons over the prairie. Our 
seats were the trunks that contained the ward-robe 
— those old-fashioned hair trunks of a mottled and 
spotted character made from the skins of defunct 
circus horses: *To what base uses we may return!' 
These smooth hair trunks, with geometrical prob- 
lems in brass tacks ornamenting their surface, would 
have made slippery seats even on a macadamized 
road, so one may imagine the difficulty we had in 



20 



THE PALIMPSEST 



holding on while jolting over a rough prairie. Noth- 
ing short of a severe pressure on the brass tacks and 
a convulsive grip of the handles could have kept us 
in position ; and whenever a treacherous handle gave 
way our company was for the time being just one 
member short. As we were not an express mail- 
train, of course we were allowed more than twenty 
minutes for refreshments. The only diffculty was 
the refreshments. We stopped at farm-houses on 
the way for this uncertain necessity, and they 
were far apart. If the roads were heavy and 
the horses jaded, those actors who had tender hearts 
and tough limbs jumped out and walked to ease the 
poor brutes. Often I have seen my father trudging 
along ahead of the wagon, smoking his pipe, and I 
have no doubt thinking of the large fortune he was 
going to make in the next town, now and then look- 
ing back with his light blue eyes, giving my mother 
a cheerful nod which plainly said: *I'm all right. 
This is splendid ; nothing could be finer. ' If it rained 
he was glad it was not snowing; if it snowed he was 
thankful it was not raining. This contented nature 
was his only inheritance; but it was better than a 
fortune made in Galena or anywhere else, for noth- 
ing could rob him of it. 

**We travelled from Galena to Dubuque on the 
frozen river in sleighs — smoother work than the 
roughly rutted roads of the prairie; but it was a 
perilous journey, for a warm spell had set in and 
made the ice sloppy and unsafe. We would some- 



THE IOWA THESPIANS 



21 



times hear it crack and see it bend niider our horses' 
feet : noAV a long-drawn breath of relief as we passed 
some dangerous spot, then a convulsive grasping of 
our nearest companion as the ice groaned and shook 
beneath us. Well, the passengers arrived safe, but, 
horror to relate ! the sleigh containing the baggage, 
private and public, with the scenery and properties, 
green curtain and drop, broke through the ice and 
tumbled into the Mississippi. My poor mother was 
in tears, but my father was in high spirits at his 
good luck, as he called it — because there was a 
sand-bar where the sleigh went in! So the things 
were saved at last, though in a forlorn condition. 
The opening had to be delayed in order to dry the 
wardrobe and smooth the scenery. 

^'The halls of the hotel were strung with clothes- 
lines, and the costumes of all nations festooned the 
doors of the bedrooms, so that when an unsuspicious 
boarder came out suddenly into the entry he was 
likely to run his head into a damp ^ Roman' shirt, or 
perhaps have the legs of a soaking pair of red tights 
dangling around his neck. Mildew filled the air. 
The gilded pasteboard helmets fared the worst. 
They had succumbed to the softening influences of 
the Mississippi, and were as battered and out of 
shape as if they had gone through the pass of Ther- 
mopylae. Limp leggins of scale armor hung wet 
and dejected from the lines ; low-spirited cocked hats 
were piled up in a corner; rough-dried court coats 
stretched their arms out as if in the agony of drown- 



22 



THE PALIMPSEST 



ing, as thongli they would say, ^Help me, Cassius, or 
I sink. ' Theatrical scenery at its best looks pale and 
shabby in the daytime, but a well-worn set after a 
six-hours' bath in a river presents the most woe- 
begone appearance that can well be imagined ; the 
sky and water of the marine had so mingled with 
each other that the horizon line had quite disap- 
peared. My father had painted the scenery, and he 
was not a little crestfallen as he looked upon the 
ruins : a wood scene had amalgamated with a Eoman 
street painted on the back of it, and had so run into 
stains and winding streaks that he said it looked like 
a large map of South America ; and, pointing out the 
Andes with his cane, he humorously traced the Ama- 
zon to its source. Of course this mishap on the river 
delayed the opening for a week. In the mean time 
the scenery had to be repainted and the wardrobe 
put in order: many of the things were ruined, and 
the helmets defied repair. ' ' 

When the damage resulting from the river mishap 
had been repaired as far as was possible the com- 
pany began an eleven day run at Shakespeare Hall. 
They presented the popular plays of the season — 
the comedies, Honeymoon'', ^^How to Eule a 
Wife", and ''The Waterman"; and the classics, 
' ' Othello ' ' Charles II ' ' Rob Roy ' ' McGregor ' ', 
and ''Richard III". Germon's singing of the "Lass 
o' Gowrie" and Burke's dancing the "Sailor's 
Plornpipe" were favorite parts of the afterpiece 
performances while the acting of juvenile parts by 



THE IOWA THESPIANS 



23 



young J oseph J eff erson and his sister was a revela- 
tion to the frontier audience. Leicester as a trage- 
dian and Germon as a villain became favorites of the 
theatergoers, while Joseph Jefferson, Sr., the come- 
dian, could always bring roars of laughter. Crowd- 
ed halls greeted the actors when the curtain rose 
every evening at 6:30 o'clock, and for three hours 
and a half the townspeople and visitors at the tav- 
erns reveled in tragedy and comedy. Even the prop- 
erty man who replaced the burned down candle foot- 
lights between the big show and the afterpiece re- 
ceived his share of applause. Adults paid one dollar 
to see a performance, children fifty cents. 

The engagement at Dubuque was one of the most 
successful experienced by the company on its west- 
ern tour, both from the financial aspect and from the 
standpoint of appreciation. Well pleased with their 
first visit to Iowa, the troupe left the lead-mine town 
to visit other places down the Mississippi. 

The Iowa Thespian Association and Shakespeare 
Hall had paved the way for the professionals. With- 
out the general interest in the drama which had been 
fostered and developed, the famous Joseph Jefferson 
might have been received no more enthusiastically 
in Dubuque than he had been in Chicago. 

Although the first two seasons of the Iowa Thes- 
pians had indicated that an amateur stock company 
in the rapidly growing town of Dubuque filled a com- 
munity demand, interest waned in a few years and 
the organization disbanded. No longer could a guest 



24 



THE PALIMPSEST 



at Timotliy Fanning 's Jefferson House or the visitor 
at Eichard Plumbe's Washington Hotel procure a 
ticket to the Shakespeare Coffee House to see Night- 
ingale and his mummers tear a passion to tatters 
or portray comedy with the broad strokes then so 
popular. Shakespeare Hall ceased to be classed with 
the places of intellectual amusement, but the tap 
room below continued to dispense cheer to its pa- 
trons until the old frame building gave way to the 
business enterprise of a new era. 

Bruce E. Mahan 



Pleasant Hill Dramatics 



Back in the amiable eighties, when life was more 
placid and less hurried than now, the fathers and 
mothers of the boys and girls who live in the country 
to-day found their winter amusements nearer home 
than the moving picture show or public dance in 
town. 

Now the rural mail carrier or the telephone will 
supply the latest news of commercial entertainment 
on the spur of the moment, while the automobile 
makes access to the city all too easy. Then the peo- 
ple who lived in the country were dependent upon 
their own resources for social pleasure, and the 
whole community participated in the wholesome fun. 

Just after the Civil War a group of farmers set- 
tled on the rolling prairies a few miles west of Bed- 
ford. There, during the sixties and early seventies, 
they reared their families. The men exchanged 
work at harvest and threshing time, the women came 
together in a social way at quiltings, and the children 
attended the Pleasant Hill district school. As the 
young people grew up they attended parties and in- 
dulged in the favorite games of Miller Boy and 
Skip-to-My-Lou. During the winter of 1881-1882 
they attended a singing school together. 

Early in the winter of 1886 some of the boys and 
girls of the Pleasant Hill district, who had been the 

25 



26 



THE PALIMPSEST 



best talent at the schoolhouse Literary and who 
had sat enthralled when they attended an occasional 
performance by some travelling troupe in the Bed- 
ford opera house, thought that they would stage 
some plays. They were confident of success. 
Couldn't they recite the poems and dialogues in 
McGuffey's Sixth Reader as well as the actor folk 
they had seen in town? Couldn't they build a stage 
in the front part of the schoolhouse ? 

The idea fired the imagination and a meeting was 
held one night in December at the home of Frances 
Titus to perfect the plans. The would-be actors as- 
sembled in the parlor, a square room equipped with 
severely plain furniture and a rag carpet. On the 
oval-topped walnut center table a large oil lamp 
threw its rays into the eager faces of these devotees 
of the drama. 

There was handsome Frank Crossen who had a 
fondness for the role of a villain. James Dougherty 
and Huston Cox leaned toward character parts, and 
Sen Campbell was willing to try any role. Jolly Roe 
Eubart delighted in comedy, while Ellis Titus pre- 
ferred to attempt juvenile characters. Then there 
was pretty May Hiatt, the teacher at Pleasant Hill, 
stately Ida Eubart, and vivacious Vira Titus for the 
feminine parts of the contemplated productions. 

Each agreed to accept a part, to learn the lines, 
and to assist in the details of production. Enthusi- 
asm waxed jubilant as they discussed the merits of 
the farce, ^'Turn Him Out", which one of the group 



PLEASANT HILL DRAMATICS 27 



had brought to the meeting. Pans of pop corn and 
bowls of cracked hickory nuts were consumed as the 
young folks talked of the time and place of holding 
rehearsals, and the oak chunks in the cast-iron stove 
had burned to glowing coals before the visitors 
donned overshoes, heavy coats, and mufflers to de- 
part for home in their bobsleds. 

Eehearsals were held at the homes of the players 
until about a week before the time set for the public 
performance. Then evening meetings took place at 
the schoolhouse, still warm from the big fire left in 
the stove by the teacher when she departed after 
school closed for the afternoon. 

A few days before the date of the show the boys of 
the club hauled a load of planks from town for the 
stage, which they erected across the front end of the 
schoolroom. A wire stretched from one side-wall to 
the other held the dark cambric curtain which had 
been made by the girls and fastened to small rings 
so that the two halves could be pulled aside. The 
handy mechanic of the group built side panels for the 
stage out of pine strips and covered these with white 
paper on which he drew windows and baseboards 
with charcoal. Openings were left for entrances on 
both sides, the front wall of the schoolroom served 
as the back wall of the stage, and with, this arrange- 
ment the actors had a playing space about twelve 
feet wide, six feet deep, and two feet above the floor. 

The hall, which extended entirely across the front 
of the building, was transformed into dressing 



28 



THE PALIMPSEST 



rooms. There the actors concealed themselves while 
the patrons paid their ten cents admission and 
climhed over the stage to reach the double seats 
then in vogue in country schools. No performance 
could begin until the audience had assembled, for 
the improvised theater boasted no entrance except 
the one over the stage. There was always a scram- 
ble for the long recitation bench which constituted 
the first row of seats. 

The mirror reflectors on the kerosene lamps in 
swinging brackets along the walls were turned so 
that the light was directed upon the stage. No foot- 
lights were used. Furniture, rugs, and curtains for 
the set were brought from home by the actors them- 
selves. 

What did it matter if occasionally someone forgot 
his lines in an exciting climax — the prompter was 
ready with the missing cue. And who cared if the 
villain's mustache and black beard, loosened by per- 
spiration, threatened to drop off before the end of 
the act? The audience appreciated such a mishap 
as much or more than a flawless performance. If 
the pistol failed to go off the first time the trigger 
was pulled and the intended victim shouted, ^^I'm 
shot!" before the shot was fired, the crowd howled 
with delight. To the credit of the Pleasant Hill 
Dramatic Club be it said, however, that such mis- 
cues were the exception. The careful rehearsals of 
the enthusiastic young actors produced better plays 
than the average of amateur performances. Old- 



PLEASANT HILL DRAMATICS 29 



timers still remember the four-act drama, Better 
Than Gold ' \ and the three-act comedy, ^ ^ The Flower 
of the Family'', Avhile the participants themselves 
revel in the memory of the fun of rehearsals and the 
thrills of the final performance. 

During two winters the club produced one-act 
sketches and longer plays. Their object was not 
mercenary : they engaged in the enterprise solely for 
their own amusement and the entertainment of the 
community. With the proceeds they paid for the 
curtain, rented the planks for the stage, had their 
picture taken by the town photographer, enjoyed an 
occasional oyster party, and divided the balance 
among the members. 

It was not long, however, before some of the mem- 
bers married and moved to distant farms. Others 
left the homesteads to engage in business in town, 
or, like their parents two decades before, set out for 
the West. The Dramatic Club was disbanded, but 
the events of the winters of 1886 and 1887 at Pleas- 
ant Hill remain as cherished memories. 

Beuce E. Mahan 



Comment by the Editor 



THE AKT OF HISTORY 

The historian, in some respects, is as much of an 
artist as the poet or sculptor. His materials are 
essentially the same, for he too depicts the spirit of 
man and carves from the solid mass of human 
events an image of the times. 

History is a Tower of Experience, which Time 
has built amidst the endless fields of bygone ages.'' 
It is a various structure, composed of infinite details. 
The archeozoic rocks form its foundation, while the 
story of life is the superstructure. It contains the 
joys and sorrows, hopes and fears, thoughts and 
deeds of all mankind. Nor is the trivial conduct of 
the least of these to be ignored, for the career of 
each is the experience of the race. 

It is for the historian to vitalize the past. Let him 
people again the land and sea, the cities and farms 
and highways with the men and women of yesterday. 
Let him tell of their goings and comings, of their 
manners, amusements, apparel, and customs no less 
than their vices and glorious exploits. The pageant 
should be viewed in perspective. Let the apparent 
confusion and discord be symphonized into the har- 
monious trend of events. 

The dictionary declares that history is devoid of 
romance. If that is true then history portrays 

30 



COMMENT BY THE EDITOR 31 



falsely tlie course of hnman affairs, for comedy and 
tragedy, adventure, love, and character building are 
the substance of every-day life. The story of each 
frontier village and latter-day city, the affairs of 
any rural countryside, the lives of men and women 
both great and humble — the history of Iowa — 
abounds in romance. Here is the stuff of which fic- 
tion is made, and the historian may revel in the 
knowledge that fact is as thrilling as fancy. 

If the past is to live the writer of history must 
take note of the romance that governs the facts. He 
must perceive and appraise with the skill of an 
artist, for he writes the drama of truth. He may 
catch the high lights, but he must not distort them. 
It is a difficult task. It involves clear thought, steady 
purpose, broad comprehension, quick imagination, 
and the capacity to impart the vision to others. 

J. E. B. 




CONTENTS 



A Confederate Spy . 

_ BmjCE E. Mahan 

VeHtures^ki Wheat 



Commit 



33 



53 



63 



TheEwtor 



' PuBUSHEDMoNTHiyArlowACmrBY 

IHE STATEHiisrMai SOCIEIYofIOWA' 



ENTERED AS SECOND CLASS MATTER JULY 28 1920 AT THE POST OFFICE AT IOWA CITY IOWA 
UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 24 19)2 



THE PURPOSE OF THIS MAGAZINE 

The Palimpsest, issued monthly by the State His- 
torical Society of Iowa, is devoted to the dissemina- 
tion of Iowa History. Supplementing the other pub- 
lications of this Society, it aims to present the materials 
of Iowa History in a form that is attractive and a style 
that is popular in the best sense — to the end that the 
story of our Commonwealth may be more widely read 
and cherished. 

Benj. F. Shambaugh 

' Superintendeni 



THE MEANING OF PALIMPSESTS 

In early times palimpsests were parchments or other 
materials from which one or more writings had been 
erased to give room for later records. But the eras- 
ures were not always complete; and so it became the 
fascinating task of scholars not only to translate the 
later records but also to reconstruct the original writ- 
ings by deciphering the dim fragments of letters partly 
erased and partly covered by subsequent texts. 

The history of Iowa may be likened to a palimpsest 
which holds the records of successive generations. To 
decipher these records of the past, reconstruct them, 
and tell the stories which they contain is the task of 
those who write history. 



PRICE — 10c per copy: $1 per year: free to members of Society 
ADDRESS — The State Historical Society Iowa City Iowa 



The Palimpsest 

EDITED BY JOHN ELY BRIGGS 
Vol. IV Issued in February 1923 No. 2 

COPYRIGHT 1923 BY THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF IOWA 

A Confederate Spy 

A glamour of romance and mystery still clings to 
the old Chew mansion in Cascade. The very appear- 
ance of the house with its massive walls of solid 
stone, high gable roofs, and huge chimneys has al- 
ways inspired interest and wonder. Built in Civil 
War days by Thomas J. Chew, a pioneer of southern 
nativity, the edifice was constructed on the generous 
design of a plantation home. 

Enormous blocks of limestone for the thick walls 
were quarried from the bluffs along the North Fork 
of the Maquoketa Eiver, while the studding, rafters, 
and heavy joists were of native oak cut to proper 
dimensions in the Chew sawmill. The spacious liv- 
ing room was finished with highly polished cherry, 
oak was used for the woodwork in the large library, 
the dining room, and the hallways, some of the 
chambers were finished in cherry and some in oak, 
while unvarnished walnut and cherry were used in 



34 



THE PALIMPSEST 



the rooms on the third floor. In every room of the 
house there was a great stone fireplace. 

Too spacious for a dwelling, the mansion proved 
to be an expensive and unsatisfactory possession 
for its various owners after the Chews moved away, 
and more than once the suggestion was made that 
the great house should be converted into a hospital. 
At last the property was obtained by the school 
board and now the stately old residence is the hom^c 
of the East Cascade High School. 

But not even transformation into a schoolhouse 
has been sufficient to dispel entirely the atmosphere 
of former glory. The children notice the evidences 
of the magnificence of sixty years ago, and they are 
reminded of days that are gone and of the stirring 
times that the old house has witnessed. In one of 
the rooms, where the boys and girls of to-day follow 
the campaigns of Caesar in Gaul or of Sherman in 
Georgia and Lee in Virginia, John Yates Beall, 
master in the Confederate navy and picturesque 
marauder, once found refuge and care while he was 
recovering from a wound received in piercing the 
Union lines on his dangerous trip to Canada. 

This is the story of the Cascade spy. 

Weary and wounded, John Y. Beall, in the spring 
of 1864, crept to the Chew home for refuge. His 
brother had come to Cascade some time before to 
engage in the milling business with Thomas Chew, 
whose wife's people, the Bemis family of Maryland, 
and the Bealls of Virginia had been friends in the 



A CONFEDERATE SPY 



35 



South. For these reasons the sick and travel-worn 
Confederate hoped to receive aid and concealment at 
the Chew homestead until he recovered sufficiently 
to continue his journey. 

He arrived just at dusk about the first of June 
and stopped in a dark comer at the rear of the house. 
Mrs. Chew came outside for a bucket of water and 
he called to her, saying, ^^It's John Beall, I'm 
wounded and I Ve come to you for protection. ' ' She 
replied that she would be glad to aid him but that 
she must first obtain the consent of Mr. Chew. She 
took him inside, gave him his supper, and led him 
upstairs to a bedroom. Then she laid the case be- 
fore her husband and asked what she should do. 

Maggie'', he said, attend to his wound as a man, 
but I do not want to know anything about him as a 
rebel. ' ' 

Mrs. Chew dressed his bullet wound herself, and 
removed some small pieces of bone. During the long 
hot summer of 1864 she nursed the Confederate 
refugee back to health and strength, and his pres- 
ence at the Chew home was known only to a few inti- 
mate friends of the family. 

Beall was a quiet guest who spent much of the 
time in reading the Bible which Stonewall Jackson 
had given him. Every night he went over part of 
the Episcopalian service, while at other times he 
browsed through the books belonging to his host. 
His early schooling in Virginia and his studies in 
England had made him a gentleman of culture and 



36 



THE PALIMPSEST 



refinement — the chivalrous type of southerner so 
well known in fiction. He never revealed to his ben- 
efactors the real reason for his trip north, and after 
his departure they were surprised and shocked at 
the swift-moving events of his subsequent career. 

Before coming to Cascade the spectacular exploits 
of J ohn Y. Beall had made him a marked man. With 
a small band of kindred adventurers he had led an 
attack upon Union gunboats on the Eappahannock 
River and effected their capture. He had directed 
the destruction of light houses along the Virginia 
shore, and his command had succeeded in capturing 
Union transports off the Atlantic coast. 

On the eighteenth of September, 1863, Beall, with 
a small party of picked men, had crossed the bay 
from Matthew's Point, Virginia, and on the follow- 
ing day he captured the United States schooner, 
Alliance, loaded with sutler's goods. Two days later 
his small force seized the schooners, J. J, Houseman, 
Samuel Pear sail, and Alexandria, captured the 
crews, and, lashing the helms and setting the sails, 
turned the vessels adrift. Five days afterward a 
Union blockader sighted the Alliance, with the Con- 
federates on board, stuck on a sand bar at Mifford 
Haven. The Yankees opened fire, but the rebels set 
fire to the vessel and escaped. 

For almost a month Beall and his men continued 
their activities along the Virginia coast, swooping 
down here, striking there, and hovering at times 
dangerously near the Union pickets and coast guards 



A CONFEDERATE SPY 



37 



who were alert for their capture. Finally, however, 
part of the command, in making a landing on the 
shore of Chesapeake Bay, were met by an equal 
number of coast guards, and after a spirited engage- 
ment the Confederates surrendered. The next day 
the reckless leader himself and nine more of his men 
were captured by a determined force from one of the 
Union coasting vessels. Both groups of prisoners 
were taken to Fort McHenry, where they were put 
in chains and regarded as pirates rather than as 
prisoners of war. 

This treatment brought forth a vigorous protest 
from Robert Ould, Confederate agent of exchange, 
who informed the Union agent that the Confederate 
government had placed an equal number of officers 
and seamen of the United States navy in close con- 
finement in irons as a retaliatory measure and that 
they were held as hostages for the proper treatment 
of Beall and his men. This protest succeeded ulti- 
mately in accomplishing its purpose, for in January, 
1864, the Confederate prisoners were removed from 
Fort McHenry to Fort Norfolk, their irons struck 
off, and their status made that of prisoners of war. 

Then Beall escaped. 

In May, 1864, he wrote to the Secretary of War of 
the Confederacy offering to raise a small company 
of trustworthy men for special service along the 
northern boundary of the United States. President 
Jefferson Davis had already sent Jacob Thompson, 
who had been Secretary of the Interior under Presi- 



38 



THE PALIMPSEST 



dent James Buchanan, to Canada to direct a cam- 
paign of terrorization whereby the morale of the 
Union might be broken. This work called for cour- 
age and intelligence, the type of service for which 
Beall was admirably fitted and to which his love of 
adventure allured him. His offer was accepted and 
he and his men in civilian garb set out for Canada as 
individuals and by separate routes. 

Ill fortune, however^ marked this adventure from 
the start. In making his way through the Union 
lines Beall received the bullet wound which forced 
him to seek refuge with friends at Cascade and de- 
layed his arrival at Windsor, Canada, for over three 
months. This inauspicious beginning of his new 
effort in behalf of the lost cause was a portent of ill 
omen, but with characteristic bravery he pushed on 
as soon as he had recovered from his injury and 
regained his strength. 

In the meantime, the audacious plot in which Beall 
was destined to play a leading role had assumed 
definite form and the preliminary work had been 
accomplished. Jacob Thompson, from his head- 
quarters at Windsor, sent Captain Charles H. Cole, 
formerly of N. B. Forrest's command, around the 
lakes as a lower deck passenger with instructions to 
become familiar with the channels, the approaches 
to the harbors, the strength of each prison camp, and 
especially to obtain all possible information about 
the war steamer Michic/an on Lake Erie. Cole was 
given about four thousand dollars in gold which he 



A CONFEDERATE SPY 



39 



was to sfjend in establishing friendly relations with 
the officers and crew of the gunboat. When he suc- 
ceeded with this part of the plot, Thompson planned 
to send Beall and his men across the lake on a pas- 
senger steamer which they would seize en route, and 
with it they were to capture the gunboat in the har- 
bor of Sandusky. With the Michigan in their pos- 
session the Confederates hoped to overpower the 
guards at Johnson ^s Island near Sandusky and lib- 
erate nearly three thousand southern officers con- 
fined there who, mounted, armed, and guarded by 
the boat, would march along the lake to Cleveland. 
From Cleveland the Confederate officers proposed 
to turn south to Wheeling, thence to Virginia, and 
rejoin their commands. Such a bold coup, it was 
thought, would strike terror into the hearts of the 
Yankees, and at the same time revive the hopes of 
the South. 

Cole reported progress to Thompson : he felt that 
his part of the job was succeeding and that the offi- 
cers who could not be bribed could be rendered help- 
less by being drugged at a wine party on board the 
gunboat on the night of the capture. Accordingly, 
the night of September 19, 1864, w^as selected for the 
attempt. Prearranged signals were to let Beall 
know when Cole's part of the plot had been accom- 
plished. 

Some details of the plot leaked out, however. On 
Saturday night, the seventeenth of September, a 
stranger called upon Lieutenant Colonel B. H. Hill, 



40 



THE PALIMPSEST 



acting assistant provost marshal of Michigan, at his 
hotel in Detroit and introduced himself as a former 
Confederate soldier then a refugee in Canada. He 
told Hill that some of the officers and men of the 
steamboat, Michigan^ on Lake Erie had been tam- 
pered with by one of Thompson's agents anci that it 
was Thompson's intention to send a party from 
Windsor to capture the gunboat. The informant 
said that he had been asked to join the party and had 
consented to do so in order to learn the details of 
the plot. He added that he w^ould return on the 
following night with more information. Hill did not 
fully credit the story because rumors of projected 
enterprises to commit depredations on the lake 
coasts of the United States by Confederate refugees 
in Canada had been current for more than a year, 
yet the man's earnestness led Hill to telegraph 
Captain J. C. Carter, the commanding officer of the 
Michigan, to be on his guard. 

True to his word the stranger returned on the 
following evening and told Hill that a man by the 
name of Cole was the Confederate agent at San- 
dusky who had attempted to bribe the officers of the 
gunboat and that he planned to drug those who 
could not be bought. He said, furthermore, that the 
attacking party x^lanned to take passage on board 
the Philo Parsons, a passenger packet which made 
regular trips between Detroit and Sandusky, to take 
possession of the vessel out on the lake, and then to 
capture the Michigan. This more detailed informa- 



A CONFEDERATE SPF 



41 



tion of the plot was telegraphed immediately to 
Captain Carter who had Cole seized and imprisoned 
at once and the boat cleared for action to bag the 
marauding party. Provost Marshal Hill thought it 
advisable to let the enterprise proceed so that the 
entire party might be captured in the harbor of 
Sandusky rather than to arouse the suspicions of the 
plotters by placing soldiers on board the Philo 
Parsons to prevent the start of the expedition. To 
do this, he thought, would simply postpone the at- 
tempt to another time when he might not be fore- 
warned. 

Beall and his men, never dreaming that the de- 
tails of the plot were already in the hands of their 
enemies, proceeded with their part of the scheme. 
About eight o'clock on Sunday night, September 
18th, a fashionably dressed young man came on 
board the Philo Parsons which was lying at the 
docks at Detroit. He asked the clerk if the boat 
would stop in the morning at Sandwich, three miles 
below on the Canadian shore, to pick up a party of 
his friends who wanted to go to Kelley's Island on a 
pleasure trip. The clerk replied that the boat did 
not stop at Sandwich regularly but would do so for 
passengers. This satisfied the caller who then de- 
parted. This man was Bennett G. Burley, an acting 
master in the Confederate navy and BealPs as- 
sistant. 

The next morning the Philo Parsons steamed 
away from the dock at Detroit with some forty pas- 



42 



THE PALIMPSEST 



sengers on board. Shortly after the vessel got 
under way the visitor of the night before came to the 
clerk and announced that his friends were waiting 
for the boat at Sandwich. The clerk reported this to 
Captain Sylvester F. Atwood, master of the boat, 
who called the stranger and asked why his friends 
had not come to Detroit to catch the steamer. 
Burley replied that one of them was lame and found 
it inconvenient to take the ferry. 

Accordingly^, the boat made the landing at Sand- 
wich and four young fellows, one of whom limped, 
came on board. All of them were stylishly dressed 
in English clothes, and one carried a small hand 
satchel, the only baggage of the party. They were 
soon on intimate terms with the passengers and 
made themselves agreeable travelling companions. 
One of them, a young man of medium height, with 
brown hair, fair complexioned, and smooth shaven, 
was Beall himself. His evident culture and polished 
manners made him a favorite. 

At Maiden, about twenty miles below Detroit on 
the Canadian side, the steamer made its regular stop. 
Here a party of about twenty men came on board. 
They were all poorh^ dressed in ragged clothes that 
had apparently seen hard service, and two of the 
roughest looking in the lot lugged a heavy, old- 
fashioned, rope-bound trunk. All of the group were 
young except one who said he was a surgeon, and 
they explained that tliey Avere bound for Kelley's 
Island on a fishing trip. They paid their fare in 



A CONFEDERATE SPY 



43 



greenbacks and no sign of recognition passed be- 
tween them and the four who came on board at Sand- 
wich. Their number was not unusual and conse- 
quently excited no suspicion. 

The steamer continued on its way, making the 
usual stops at North Bass, Middle Bass, and South 
Bass islands to discharge and take on passengers 
and freight. These islands lie about twenty-eight 
miles almost directly north of Sandusky. Captain 
Atwood left the boat at Middle Bass Island to spend 
the twenty-four hour interval before its return with 
his family, and the steamer proceeded under the 
command of DeWitt C. Nichols, mate and pilot. 

Nothing suspicious had been observed up to this 
point although afterwards it was remembered that 
ten or twelve of the Maiden crowd stayed on the 
upper deck and just after dinner the wheelman no- 
ticed two of them by the pilot house, two more by 
the wheelhouse, and two aft on the hurricane deck. 
One of the well dressed group asked the wheelman 
some questions about the course he was steering 
and borrowed his glass to look around. 

From South Bass Island, the steamer proceeded 
to Kelley's Island, seven miles farther on, and made 
the regular landing there. When the boat drew up 
to the wharf four men came on board and one of 
them addressed a member of the Sandwich party, 
saying, ''We have concluded to go to Sandusky.'^ 

None of those who had come on board at Sand- 
wich and Maiden left the boat at Kelley's Island, 



44 



THE PALIMPSEST 



and one of them told the clerk that they had decided 
to go on to Sandusky with the four who had just 
come on board. 

The Philo Parsons \eit Kelley's Island about four 
o^clock in the afternoon and fifteen or twenty min- 
utes later passed the Island Queen, another side- 
wheel steamer which made regular trips between 
Sandusky and the Bass islands. The boats passed 
at a distance of about twenty rods and no signals 
were exchanged. 

Shortly after the Philo Parsons passed the Island 
Queen Beall accosted Nichols, then in command of 
the boat, and asked, ^ ' Are you captain of this boat ? ' * 

*^No, sir;'* Nichols answered, am mate.'* 

**You have charge of her at present, have you 
not?'* 

*^Yes, sir", replied the mate. 

''Will you step back here for a minute? I want 
to talk to you." 

The two men walked aft to a place near the smoke- 
stack on the hurricane deck where Beall stopped and 
said, ''I am a Confederate officer. There are thirty 
of us, well armed. I seize the boat, and take you as a 
prisoner. You must pilot the boat as I direct you, 
and ' ', pulling a revolver out of his pocket and show- 
ing it, ''here are the tools to make you. Run down 
and lie off the harbor." He meant the harbor of 
Sandusky then about twelve miles distant. 

In the meantime four of the party had come up to 
the clerk who was standing in front of his office and, 



A CONFEDERATE SPY 



45- 



drawing revolvers, leveled them at him and threat- 
ened to kill him if he offered any resistance. He sur- 
rendered. In a flash the old black trunk which had 
been carried aboard at Maiden was opened and the 
marauders armed themselves with the revolvers and 
hand axes which it contained. They fired a few 
shots and drove the frightened passengers forward 
to the cabin where they searched them for arms. 
Leaving the women and children in the cabin, the 
boarding party drove the men and crew down to the 
main deck and thence to the hold. 

When the attack began the wheelman who was 
standing in the saloon heard a shot on deck, a yell, 
and then another shot. He hastened out on the main 
deck and saw a man with a cocked revolver in his 
hand chasing the fireman and shouting to the fugi- 
tive to go down the main hatch or he would shoot. 
The fireman escaped temporarily and the man 
turned to the wheelman repeating the same com- 
mand. The latter told him to go to hell and started 
quickly to climb from the main deck to the upper 
deck. The pirate fired but missed, the ball passing 
between the legs of the fleeing wheelman. 

Within a short time, however, Beall and his men 
had complete possession of the boat, and although 
several shots had been fired no one was injured. 
The fireman, engineer, and wheelman were left at 
their posts under guard and commanded to obey the 
orders of the leader. Beall ordered the mate to head 
the boat' east and to keep on this tack until a good 



46 



THE PALIMPSEST 



view of the harbor of Sandusky was obtained. At 
about five o 'clock a position was reached where the 
United States steamer, Michigan^ was plainly vis- 
ible. After a careful examination of the harbor 
from the point outside the bar, and after ascertain- 
ing the position of the gunboat, Beall learned from 
the mate that the wood supply was low. Therefore, 
he ordered the wheelman to turn back to the wood- 
ing station at Middle Bass Island, and the boat drew 
up to the wharf between seven and eight in the 
evening, just at dusk. 

The Confederates fired two or three shots at the 
owner of the wood yard, then released some of the 
deck hands to help wood up. The captain of the 
Philo Parsons who had spent the afternoon at home 
did not see his vessel return but was informed of its 
arrival by a little boy who came running up to the 
captain's house much frightened and shouting that 
they were killing his father. The captain hurried to 
the dock and seeing several men running to and fro, 
approached them and asked what was up. There- 
upon three or four of the men levelled their pistols 
at him and he was ordered aboard. Upon his re- 
fusal he was rushed up the plank and made a pris- 
oner in the cabin of his own vessel. 

About this time the Island Queen whistled for the 
wharf and came steaming up to the dock alongside 
the Philo Parsons. It was now eight o'clock and 
moonlight. Immediately all the Confederates who 
could be spared rushed on board the new arrival 



A CONFEDERATE SPY 



47 



and, yelling and firing- their revolvers, they drove the 
passengers and crew aboard the Philo Parsons. 
Among the former were twenty-five Union soldiers 
— one-hnndred-day men from Ohio returning to 
Toledo to be mustered out. They were unarmed and 
without a leader and so offered no resistance. The 
men were crowded into the hold, the women and chil- 
dren left in the cabin. 

The engineer of the Island Queen was busy with 
his engines after he brought his vessel alongside the 
wharf and the first he knew of the attack was when 
he heard some one yell. As he looked around one of 
the attacking party fired and the ball, whizzing past 
his nose, entered his cheek and passed out at his ear. 
Although Beall's men fired several shots no one was 
wounded except the engineer, though some of the 
passengers were knocked down with the butt end of 
revolvers and with hand axes. 

Before putting out on the lake again Beall paroled 
the passengers of both boats, the Union soldiers, the 
crew of the Island Queen, the captain and part of the 
crew of the Philo Parsons, and secured their promise 
not to leave the island nor to speak of what had oc- 
curred for twenty-four hours. He kept on board the 
captain, clerk, and wounded engineer of the Island 
Queen, and the mate, wheelman, and part of the crew 
of the Philo Parsons. Most of the baggage of the 
passengers was piled on the dock and the cargo of 
pig iron, furniture, and tobacco was thrown over- 
board. 



48 



THE PALIMPSEST 



Beall then headed the Philo Parsons out on the 
lake with the Island Queen in tow. A few miles out 
from Middle Bass Island the captors opened the sea 
valves of the towed vessel and cast her adrift to 
sink. Fortunately, before filling she drifted onto a 
sand bar and was removed a few days later without 
having suffered serious injury. 

The Confederates then shaped a course for San- 
dusky, hiding the red and blue signal lights of the 
boat so that its course could not be detected. When 
the steamer reached a point opposite Marblehead 
Light outside the Bay of Sandusky the pilot told 
Beall that it was dangerous to attempt to run the 
channel at night for it was so narrow there was 
danger of running aground. Moreover, the signals 
by which Cole was to announce the success of his part 
of the plot had failed to appear. Beall called his men 
forward. After a brief consultation the Confeder- 
ates decided to abandon the attack on the gunboat, 
Michigan, It was fortunate for them that they did, 
for both the commanding officer at Johnson's Island 
and Captain Carter of the Michigan were ready and 
waiting for the attack. Beall ordered the pilot to 
turn about and head the boat for Maiden, Canada. 

They passed the Bass islands under a full head of 
steam about one o'clock in the morning, slipped by 
Maiden about four, and proceeded up the Canadian 
side of the Detroit River. A few miles above Maiden 
the captors sent ashore a yawl boat loaded with 
plunder. Beall stopped the Philo Parsons also at 



A CONFEDERATE SPY 



49 



Fighting Point to put the crew ashore, keeping on 
board only three — the engineer, wheelman, and one 
other — for the rest of the trip. The boat arrived at 
the dock at Sandwich, Canada, about eight o'clock 
Tuesday morning. 

One of the gang compelled the engineer to help 
smash the injection pipes of the vessel, while others 
carried ashore some cabin furniture and other plun- 
der. Then, leaving the boat to sink, the Confeder- 
ates, loaded down with bags of plunder, set off up the 
street of Sandwich. None of them were molested 
except two who were detained for a short time 
charged with violating the customs regulations by 
unloading goods without a license. The magistrate 
dismissed their case, however, and the entire group 
scattered throughout the country, most of them re- 
turning to the Confederacy. The Philo Parsons was 
saved by some of the crew before she filled and in a 
few days both of the captured vessels were making 
their regular trips again. 

This audacious attempt by Beall and his men to 
capture the Michigan and to release the prisoners at 
Johnson's Island aroused the authorities to keep a 
careful watch for this bold plotter. The County 
Crown Attorney at Windsor assured the United 
States District Attorney of Michigan that he had 
received instructions from his government to spare 
no pains in bringing to justice those concerned with 
the plot. Burley, BealPs lieutenant, was arrested a 
few days afterward in Canada and later extradited 



50 



THE PALIMPSEST 



to the United States. Cole, who was confined on 
Johnson's Island and later at Fort Lafayette, was 
finally discharged on February 10, 1866. Thompson, 
the arch conspirator, seems to have escaped. He 
was afterward implicated in the assassination of 
President Lincoln. 

On December 16, 1864, nearly three months after 
the lake episode, John S. Young, chief of the Metro- 
politan Detective Police, found and arrested Beall 
near the New York end of the suspension bridge 
over the Niagara River. He was fully identified by a 
witness who picked him out of a crowd in one of the 
rooms at police headquarters in New York. The 
witness stepped up to Beall and called him by name 
much to the discomfiture of the Confederate captain. 
After being thus identified the prisoner was confined 
in a cell at police headquarters, but having attempted 
to bribe one of the turnkeys by offering him $3000 in 
gold for a chance to escape, he was removed to Fort 
Lafayette. 

The military commission appointed to try his case 
convened on board the steamer, Henry Burden, while 
she was conveying Beall to Fort Lafayette, but as he 
desired a week's delay to procure counsel and to pre- 
pare his defense, it was granted him. The court 
martial met at Fort Lafayette on the morning of 
January 17, 1865, and adjourned until two days later^ 
giving the prisoner that much more time to prepare 
his case. He asked that a fellow prisoner, Roger A. 
Pryor, be allowed to defend him, and this request 



A CONFEDERATE SPY 



51 



was forwarded by General John A. Dix to the Secre- 
tary of War. A reply was received two days later 
that under no circumstances could a prisoner of war 
be allowed to act as counsel for a person accused of 
being a spy. Hence another postponement of the 
trial was necessary while Beall secured other coun- 
sel. 

Having engaged the professional services of 
James T. Brady, Beall 's trial began February 10, 
1865, with Brigadier General Fitz Henry Warren, 
formerly colonel of the First Iowa Volunteer Cav- 
alry, as president. He was arraigned and tried 
under two charges : first, violation of the law of war, 
and second, acting as a spy. Under these charges it 
was specified that he seized and captured the Philo 
Parsons and Island Queen without lawful authority 
and by force of arms; that he acted as a spy near 
Kelley's Island, at Middle Bass Island, and at the 
suspension bridge; and that as a guerrilla he at- 
tempted to destroy lives and property by trying to 
wreck a train coming from the west to Buffalo. 
Beall attempted to justify his maneuvers on Lake 
Erie and his deeds in New York by showing that he 
was acting under the orders of Jefferson Davis and 
authorized agents of the Confederate government. 

After a careful hearing of the evidence, the court 
found Beall guilty of both charges and on all the 
specifications save one in which the date had been 
stated erroneously. He was sentenced to be hanged 
and General Dix approved the sentence, directing it 



52 



THE PALIMPSEST 



to be executed on Governor's Island, Saturday, Feb- 
ruary ISth. Later a reprieve was granted until Fri- 
day, the twenty-fourth. 

In desperation Beall wrote the following letter to 
the Confederate agent of exchange: 

Fort Columbus, February 21, 1865. 
Col. R. Ould, Commissioner of Exchange, Richmond, Va.: 
Sir : The proceedings of a military commission in my 
ease published in the New York papers of the 15th instant 
made you and my Government aware of my sentence and 
doom. A reprieve, on account of some informality, from 
the 18th to the 24th was granted. The authorities are pos- 
sessed of the facts in my case. They know that I acted 
under orders. I appeal to my Government to use its utmost 
efforts to protect me, and if unable to prevent my murder, 
to vindicate my reputation. I can only declare that I was 
no ''spy" or ''guerrilla," and am a true Confederate. 
Respectfully, 
^ John Y. Beall, 

Acting Master, C. S. Navy. 

This letter, however, was not received until Febru- | 
ary twenty-seventh. Three days before, between 
noon and two o^clock in the afternoon, the command- 
ing officer of Foi*t Columbus had carried out the 
sentence of the court and the spectacular career of 
John Y. Beall was ended. 

Bruce E. Mahan 



Ventures in Wheat 



It was thought, in the fall of 1845 and during the 
following winter, that there was going to be a big 
foreign demand for breadstuffs, on account of a 
great deficiency in the English crops. Consequently 
there was much speculation in breadstuffs in this 
country. At that time the firm of Burrows & Pretty- 
man had been operating a produce house in Daven- 
port for more than a year. We were doing business 
with the largest produce merchants in the United 
States, the Woodruff brothers, who maintained 
branches in St. Louis, New Orleans, and New York 
City. You could ship to any branch you preferred. 
It was a concern of unlimited means. The senior 
partner, James E. Woodruff, was the best business 
friend I ever had, and he was also the best business 
man I ever knew. 

Mr. Woodruff thought there would be a sharp ad- 
vance in the prices of breadstuffs before spring to 
supply the deficiency in the English market, and he 
wrote me repeatedly, urging me to buy every barrel 
of flour we could find and all the wheat and other 
provisions, and that we were at liberty to draw on 
him for one hundred thousand dollars for that pur- 
pose. If we were afraid to buy on our own account, 

[This account of wheat speculation by a pioneer commission mer- 
chant in Davenport is adapted for The Palimpsest from J. M. D. 
Burrows 's Fifty Years in loxva. — The Editor] 

53 



54 



THE PALIMPSEST 



he said to buy for him. He urged us so strongly and 
persistently that we followed his advice, buying on 
our own account. I visited every point, myself, as 
far as Dubuque, and bought every barrel of flour and 
all the grain I could find in New Albany, Savanna, 
Galena, and Dubuque, besides a large amount of pro- 
visions. We also sent an agent on the ice above Du- 
buque to visit every point and buy all the flour and 
grain he could find in store. Consequently, at the 
opening of navigation in the spring of 1846 we con- 
trolled the larger part of the produce in store above 
Davenport. 

Then came trouble and disaster. -The United 
States declared war against Mexico that spring, and 
everything collapsed. Prices tumbled more than one- 
half. The only way we could get to the seaboard was 
by the river to New Orleans and thence by sea to 
New York. The excitement then prevalent concern- 
ing privateers on the ocean almost suspended ship- 
ping. Insurance on the ocean advanced to ten per 
cent. 

Soon after the opening of navigation, I began to 
move my winter accumulation, as I could see no 
prospect of any change for the better. I thought it 
best to face the music at once. Our flour, in store on 
the river, had been bought at from four dollars to 
four dollars and fifty cents per barrel and the wheat 
at an average of sixty cents a bushel. On arriving at 
St. Louis, the nominal price of flour was from two 
dollars to two dollars and twenty-five cents a barrel. 



VENTURES IN WHEAT 



55 



but no buyers; wheat was forty cents a bushel, for 
which there was a small local demand. Selling what 
wheat we could, we sent out flour and surplus wheat 
to New York, where it fared worse. Most of the 
flour became sour on the trip and did not net us over 
one dollar per barrel, while the wheat went for 
twenty-five cents a bushel. When all was sold, Bur- 
rows & Prettyman found themselves nearly bank- 
rupt. I do not think we could have paid over 
twenty-five cents on the dollar, if we had been forced 
to close up our business. 

During the following winter people began to get 
over their scare of the previous season and, a good 
foreign demand springing up, prices began to ad- 
vance. Before the advance had fairly commenced, 
Woodruff, foreseeing what was going to happen, 
urged me to send out an agent at once and buy every- 
thing I could north of Davenport. I did so. People, 
remembering the disaster of the year before, were 
willing sellers. 

About this time hogs had begun to be plentiful and 
we were packing so extensively that my winters were 
occupied chiefly in overseeing that branch of the in- 
dustry, so I was obliged to employ an agent to make 
the trips abroad. One bitter cold, stormy day, about 
the first of February, there was nothing doing; no 
farmers in town, and I was tired of sitting around 
the stove. T put on my overcoat, and said to Mr. 
Prettyman, ' ^ I will go out and try to buy what wheat 
there is in town. ' ' 



56 



THE PALIMPSEST 



I first called on Charles Lesslie, at the corner of 
Front and Brady streets. He had a small ware- 
house full of very choice wheat, most of it raised by 
the Brownlies, at Long Grove, who at that time were 
considered the best farmers in the county. After 
considerable talk I bought him out. I agreed to pay 
him sixty cents a bushel, to take the wheat away any 
time I pleased between then and the first of May, and 
to pay for it when removed. There were about 
twenty-five hundred bushels. 

I then called on William Inslee and bought about 
the same amount from him, paying the same price. 
Whisler then occupied the lot at the corner of Front 
and Main streets and had a large warehouse nearly 
full of wheat. I bought him out also at the same 
price of sixty cents a bushel. 

This closed out all the wheat in town. I went back 
to the store well satisfied with my forenoon's work. 
As I afterwards sold this wheat for double what I 
paid for it, we made about five thousand dollars in 
the operation. All the expense I had was to sack the 
wheat and deliver it to the boat : the buyer furnished 
the sacks. 

We found, at the opening of navigation, that we 
had on hand a larger supply of breadstuffs than any 
other dealer on the river. The profit on flour which 
had been made in the fall and held over and on wheat 
which had been bought in the early part of the winter 
for thirty cents a bushel, was simply enormous. 
Flour that cost us two dollars a barrel sold for seven 



VENTURES IN WHEAT 



57 



dollars. In the spring we put our stuff on the market 
as rapidly as possible. By July 1st we had paid 
every dollar we owed and had money to our credit 
I with which we proposed to put up a flouring mill in 
Davenport. The town thus far had neither a flour 
mill nor a sawmill. We intended to give her both. 

The Crimean War began in the fall of 1853 and in 
March, 1854, France and England formed an alliance 
mth Turkey and declared war on Russia. I had been 
watching the markets and the foreign news. Most 
people thought the war would all end in smoke, but 
I believed Russia would fight. Others thought the 
war would not affect our markets, but I thought it 
would, as Russia exported a large quantity of wheat, 
especially from the port of Sebastopol. When that 
port was blockaded I believed there would be a sharp 
advance in breadstuffs. 

I was in New York during the early part of July, 
and visited my old friend, James E. Woodruff. I 
had many talks with him about the prospect of the 
business season about to open. At that time bread- 
stuff markets were very much depressed, both in the 
East and the West. 

Woodruff asked me what I was going to pay for 
wheat. I told him fifty cents a bushel. He said, 
don 't know what you are going to do with it at that 
price. There is not a market in the world that you 
can ship wheat to where it will net you more than 
forty cents a bushel. You ought not to pay to exceed 
forty cents. You are too good to the farmers. You 



58 



THE PALIMPSEST 



pay too much for produce. You always pay higher 
prices than any of our customers. You work harder, 
for less money, than any man I ever knew.*' 

^^Well," said I, *^we are going to have a heavy 
crop of wheat, and I have doubled the capacity of my 
mill. Our farmers will not sell wheat freely at less 
than fifty cents a bushel. Burrows & Prettyman 
have a large amount standing out which they must 
get in, and it will require fifty cents a bushel to make 
collections. I have more faith in the future than 
you have. I intend to ship everything to New York 
— all my flour and surplus wheat — and don't care 
how long it is on the way ; the longer the better, be- 
cause I am satisfied the prices are going to be much 
higher. ' ' 

I returned home. On my way I stopped one day 
in Chicago to see how the markets were. T. J. S. 
Flint and C. T. Wheeler were the strongest and 
heaviest grain men in Chicago then, and had the 
largest elevator in the city. They took me on 
'Change and showed me various samples of new 
winter wheat, which was just beginning to come in 
from southern Illinois and which was selling that 
day at sixty cents a bushel. I had a long talk with 
them about the fall business. They coincided with 
Woodruff that forty cents was a generous price, and 
all I ought to pay. 

Our railroad, the Chicago & Rock Island, had just 
boon opened and freight was very high, being about 
twenty cents a bushel for wheat from Davenport to 



VENTURES IN WHEAT 



59 



Chicago. The expense of handling the grain in Chi- 
cago would amount to about two cents a bushel more. 

Fifty cents a bushel for spring wheat in Daven- 
port, with twenty-two cents added for freight and 
expenses in Chicago making the price seventy-two 
cents a bushel, when the best of fall wheat was actu- 
ally selling at sixty cents, did look somewhat ven- 
turesome. But in my whole experience I never felt 
so sure of a season's business as I did then. My 
friends thought I would ruin myself. 

Such a crop of wheat Scott County never produced 
before or since. Farmers were beginning to harvest. 
Our land was new and in condition to produce its 
very best. Club wheat had recently been introduced 
and nearly all the growing crop was of that variety. 
It stood thick and even on the ground, nearly five 
feet high, and well headed. For six inches below the 
head the straw was as yellow as gold. 

Wheat ran, that year, from thirty to forty bushels 
to the acre. What was more remarkable, the quality 
of the wheat was all number one. You could not get 
an inferior quality, even if you paid a premium for 
it. This extraordinary crop made me still more san- 
guine, and I felt in my very bones that this was the 
time to pitch in. 

The heaviest dealers in produce in Davenport, be- 
sides myself, were J. E. Graham and G. W. Kepner. 
I told them I was going to control the wheat 
market of Davenport that fall and that I should keep 
the price of wheat about two cents above that paid by 



60 



THE PALIMPSEST 



dealers in Muscatine who, at that time, were our only 
competitors. I also told them that I intended to 
draw the wheat from Cedar and Linn counties away 
from Muscatine. 

To Grraham & Kepner I made this proposition: ^^I 
will give yon five cents a bushel for all the wheat you 
will buy between now and the first of next December. 
You shall put it in my mill, on the railroad cars, or 
on a steamboat, or wherever I shall instruct you. I 
will give you the price each morning which you are 
to pay that day. You shall pay just what I pay. I 
will never bid against you. You will furnish your 
own money. I want your bills of lading and vouch- 
ers every Saturday; you are to bring in your bill 
every Monday morning and I will pay you. ' ^ 

Graham & Kepner accepted my proposition. I 
used to pay them from ten to twenty thousand dol- 
lars every Monday morning. Mr. Graham has told 
me since that they never did as well any season as 
they did under this arrangement with me. 

I had all of this wheat put into cars for shipment 
to New York. Arrangements were made with the 
railroad company to place cars where the farmers 
could get at them and unload their wheat into the 
car, thus saving a second handling and the additional 
expense. 

Flint & Wheeler agreed to receive and forward my 
shipments in Chicago. I told them I expected to be 
able to load a vessel every week, and that I did not 
want my wheat inspected. All I wanted was to have 



VENTURES IN WHEAT 



61 



them receive the flour and wheat from day to day as 
it arrived, hold it until they had enough to load a 
vessel, and then consign it to Woodruff in New York. 

It took but a short time to show that I was in luck. 
Sebastopol was invested. Breadstuffs advanced in 
Europe. Eussia's ports were blockaded: her grain 
was locked up. The first of my fifty-cent wheat 
brought two dollars and twenty-five cents a bushel 
in New York. I made more than one hundred thou- 
sand dollars between the first of August and the first 
of December. Most of the money was made the first 
sixty days when wheat was low. I began buying at 
fifty cents and in October I was paying a dollar and 
forty cents a bushel. At the latter price only ordi- 
nary profits were made. 

Everything seemed to favor me that fall. One 
propeller, loaded entirely with my wheat and flour, 
exploded on the lake and sank, the whole cargo being 
lost. Yet I made four thousand dollars by it: the 
cargo was insured in New York City and I saved the 
freight from Davenport to New York. 

For over a year I did a fairly good business. Then 
came a dreadful blow. First, the news of the death 
of Nicholas, Czar of Eussia ; then a few months later, 
the fall of Sebastopol. Everyone knew the war was 
at an end. Prices of produce fell instantly all over 
the United States — wheat from fifty to sixty cents 
a bushel; flour, three dollars a barrel; and every- 
thing else in proportion. The decline continued day 
after day. I went to bed on the night the news ar- 



62 



THE PALIMPSEST 



rived two hundred thousand dollars poorer than I 
had arisen the same morning. I had on the market 
six thousand barrels of flour, and in Davenport one 
hundred and fifty thousand bushels of wheat and all 
my winter's packing, not a dollar's worth of which 
had been sold. 

That drop in prices was an overwhelming catas- 
trophe. It broke up nearly every dealer on the Mis- 
sissippi River, and was really what finally broke 
Burrows & Prettyman. 

J. M. D. BuRKOws 



Comment by the Editor 

THE MATERIALS OF HISTOEY 

Historians who delve into the prehistoric find few 
materials and only scattered records. They view a 
limestone clifp, and tell of the time when Iowa was 
mider the sea ; they reconstruct a race of men from 
fragmentary skulls and thigh bones; they visit the 
Valley of the Kings, and vitalize the reign of Tut- 
ankhamen from an inspection of his tomb. They 
I deal with symbols, as all historians should. 

The annalist of the present age has a different 
problem, for records of modern life are without num- 
ber. The harmony of events, like the organization of 
I matter, defies understanding and yet compels con- 
templation. To produce cosmos from chaos is the 
alchemy of modern history. 

He who undertakes to review all events, to read all 
accounts, to discover all causes, and to perceive all 
effects, in order that he may produce a complete and 
truthful image of the times, attempts the impossible. 
Selection is his task. It is for the historian to choose 
significant facts, to interpret the symbolism of 
events, to dwell upon typical characters, to write lit- 
erature — in short, to be an artist as well as a 
scholar. 

Abundance of material has its advantages. Think 
of the newspapers. What an infinite variety of sub- 

63 



64 THE PALIMPSEST 

I 

jects they cover. With what detail events are de- 
scribed, and how rich is the comment. 

Consider the service of photography. The eye of 
the camera sees all and never forgets. It beggars all 
language in the realm of description. The most 
trivial snapshot may be of great value, while the 
utility of an aerial view of a battle or city is beyond 
calculation. As for the movies, they verily challenge 
mortality. Death has lost its meaning to history; 
for those who are dead still live and move and have 
their being. 

Even sound can now be preserved. The past may 
be heard as well as seen. He who runs need not 
read : he may simply look and listen. 

J. E. B. 




/ i\ Cdnt Election ^ 78 

LegislatiVii Episodes 90 
Comnient 99 

Published MonthlyAt Iowa City By 

If -IHE State HKrb8icAiSoj:iEiYoFiowA' \^ 

ENTERED AS SECOND CLASS MATTER JULY 28 1920 AT THE POST OFFICE AT IOWA CITY IOWA 
UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 24 19)2 



JAMKS WILSON 



The Palimpsest 

EDITED BY JOHN ELY BRIGGS 
Vol. IV Issued in March 1923 No. 3 

COPYRIGHT 1923 BY THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF IOWA 

A Man of Vision 

James Wilson was a man of vision. Keen per- 
ception and singleness of purpose were his dominant 
characteristics. His simplicity of life and his broad 
love for humanity furnish the key to an understand- 
ing of his career. There are few heights of imag- 
ination or emotion to record, and no remarkable 
victories to analyze. Throughout his life, from early 
boyhood until the close of his long official career, 
influences and events contributed steadily, logically, 
and undramatically to the formulation and accom- 
plishment of his self-imposed mission. 

As James Wilson grew into manhood and assumed 
family responsibilities, the hardships, the social in- 
feriority, and the unhappiness of the American 
farmer were borne in upon his consciousness with 
vivid and personal reality. When he analyzed these 
conditions, he found their origin in economic causes, 
and the solution, he concluded, lay in the application 



65 



66 



THE PALIMPSEST 



of science. By increasing the yield of produce per 
acre, by improving the methods of stock raising, by 
developing facilities for transportation, and by find- 
ing new markets, the farmers ' income would be in- 
creased and this, in turn, would break the dull 
routine of the farm life, raise the standard of living, 
and create a new rural order. So confident of these 
conclusions was Mr. Wilson that their accomplish- 
ment became the motivating factor of his life, the 
vision of his service to humanity. 

A chronology of James Wilson's life is indicative 
of steady progress. Born on a farm in Ayrshire, 
Scotland, in 1835, he grew up imder the rigid and 
careful discipline of a Scotch home. In 1851 the 
family moved to the United States in order to im- 
prove their financial position. After remaining in 
Connecticut for about four years they joined the 
Scotch settlement on Wolf Creek, in Tama County, 
Iowa, near the present town of Traer. For a num- 
ber of years James worked either on his father's 
farm or that of his uncle. West Wilson. Just before 
the outbreak of the Civil War, James and his 
brother, Peter, began farming for themselves. In 
1867 James was elected to the General Assembly 
where he served three terms — the last as Speaker 
of the House of Representatives. 

His next advancement came in 1872 when he was 
elected to Congress. Here again he served three 
terms, though not successively. For a number of 
years he edited the Traer Star-Clipper in which his 



A MAN OF VISION 



67 



articles on farming attracted much attention. Then 
he became professor of agriculture and director of 
the agricultural experiment station in the State Col- 
lege of Agriculture at Ames. His highest rec- 
ognition came in 1897 when President McKinley 
appointed him Secretary of the Department of 
Agriculture. 

Nature and heredity smiled on James Wilson in a 
generous fashion, giving him two significant attri- 
butes : an efficient mind and a kindly temperament 
that found its satisfaction in a wholesome love for 
humanity. His father, John Wilson, a middle-class 
farmer, was a man of intelligence and practical 
imagination. James inherited both qualities, with 
the result that a close bond of mutual respect was 
established between the father and son. John Wil- 
son spared neither time nor effort in teaching his 
son, and the boy proved to be an apt pupil. When 
the Wilsons came to Connecticut in 1851, James, then 
sixteen years of age, had already acquired the rudi- 
ments of scientific agriculture. 

If the boy received from his father a thoughtful 
bent, he acquired from his mother a sweetness of 
character, an appreciation of the aesthetic, and a 
conception of family life that was to serve as his 
ideal and aspiration ever afterward. The, gentle 
Jean McCosh gave of her best to her son and he 
returned a devotion so exalted that it made all wom- 
ankind the object of his courtesy and his con- 
sideration. It was a characteristic that sometimes 



68 



THE PALIMPSEST 



contrasted oddly with the rude, hearty freedom of 
the men and women of pioneer American society. 

To his sisters James Wilson was always a hero. 
He could slide the farthest, throw the straight est, 
and ^^he knew everything.'' Later he became the 
kindest teacher, the strongest protector, and the 
truest friend. When he entered upon his official 
career they followed every step in his progress with 
an enthusiasm and encouragement that admitted no 
possibility of failure. As an old man he came back 
to them and they ministered to his last wants, giving 
the comforts that only their thoughtfulness could 
provide. m 

J ames Wilson seems to have enjoyed better educa- 
tional opportunities than might be expected. Eager 
to learn, he was given ample time and means for 
study, though the rigor of Scottish discipline left 
little time for play. He was able to read at an early 
age and soon exhibited a fondness for history and 
literature. Macaulay's History of England" was 
a favorite. It is said that he could tell any story 
that Scott ever wrote and that he was almost as 
familiar with Burns. The fundamentals of Latin 
were acquired under the tutelage of John Ross. 
Raised in a strict Presbyterian home, he naturally 
became a student of the Bible, from which he was 
able to quote freely and much to the point. H 

An illuminating anecdote is told in this connection. 
During McKinley's administration at the close of 
stormy cabinet meetings the President was accus- 



A MAN OF VISION 



69 



tomed to turn to Ms Secretary of Agriculture with 
the question, ^^Now, Mr. Wilson, what's the scrip- 
ture on thatf and Mr. Wilson was ever ready with 
a pertinent passage — not always from the Bible. 
In Roosevelt's cabinet, however, the tables were 
turned and the President did his own quoting, often 
from sources unknown to Wilson. 

Rural life on the Iowa prairie afforded neither the 
incentive nor the opportunity for classical training, 
and the young Scotchman entered upon a new phase 
of his education that savored of the soil and the 
needs of a new country. Three winters spent in the 
public schools — two as a student and one as a 
teacher — revealed in a concrete manner both the 
paucity of the rural schools and the imperative need 
for further school legislation. One year of work in 
Grinnell College seems to have convinced him of the 
inability of the private and denominational colleges 
to provide the secondary and technical education 
for an agricultural population. 

Henceforth his principal subject of study was 
people : the farms of Iowa were his laboratory. Al- 
though a number of American colleges and univer- 
sities awarded him the honorary degree of doctor of 
laws, he never received an academic degree. His 
mind, however, trained in methods of study was 
directed toward the analysis of a practical problem 
— the improvement of conditions for the Iowa 
farmer. 

James Wilson and his brother Peter had scarcely 



70 



THE PALIMPSEST 



begun farming for themselves in 1861 when the Civil 
War commenced, and it became a matter of patriotic 
duty for one of them to join the army. After con- 
siderable thought a plan was formed. Peter, who 
was the stronger, agreed to enlist: James was to 
remain at home, take care of the farm, and divide 
the profits with Peter when he returned. The 
scheme worked well, for Peter returned with a com- 
mission and the farm had doubled in size and was 
stocked with all the horses, cattle, and hogs it could 
support. 

During these early years of farming, James Wil- 
son experimented with a theory that has since been 
generally accepted throughout Iowa as a fundamen- 
tal of scientific farming. All the fodder, grain, and 
hay that was raised on the farm, he thought, should 
be fed to live stock and converted into meat and 
dairy products. While this practice had many ob- 
vious advantages, it also produced a series of other 
problems. As perceived by Mr. Wilson, these in- 
cluded the development of a satisfactory market for 
butter, cheese, and meat; improved standards of 
stock breeding; and the eradication of animal dis- 
eases. 

The advent of Mr. Wilson into politics was a di- 
rect outgrowth of his agricultural efficiency. He 
could raise good crops and good stock. He was 
honest, and he inspired the respect of his neighbors. 
It was a mark of their esteem that he was elected to 
the county board of supervisors in 1864. 



A MAN OF VISION 



71 



Three years later his constituency had widened 
and he was sent to the State legislature as the Rep- 
resentative from Tama County. His first election in 
1867 came in the midst of the corn husking season 
when there was very little time to prepare for his 
legislative duties. He was determined, however, to 
become proficient in parliamentary procedure. For 
that purpose he fastened a manual of parliamentary 
law on the end gate and studied the rules while he 
husked the down-row behind the wagon. 

Three terms Mr. Wilson served in the General 
Assembly, the last as Speaker of the House. It was 
asserted that he was ^^the man in whose hand the 
gavel of the House has for the first time in the his- 
tory of the State been placed by the cordial consent 
of all the members of his own party". Eailroad 
regulation, prohibition, suffrage, and revision of the 
fence laws were the dominant issues. In the enact- 
ment of legislation on these subjects, Mr. Wilson 
took a prominent part and acquitted himself cred- 
itably. His experience in the Iowa legislature was a 
valuable asset when his public service took him to 
Congress in the years that followed. 

When he became professor of agriculture at 
Ames, he was obliged to expand his field of vision. 
His active farming came to an end, and he turned -his 
attention to the scientific analysis of the problems of 
agriculture in general, but particularly in Iowa. Six 
years he spent in quiet, intensive study. 

National recognition came to James Wilson in 



72 



THE PALIMPSEST 



1897, when President McKinley called him to serve 
as Secretary of Agriculture. The honor meant 
much, but better than that the position gave him the 
opportunity of utilizing the resources of the whole 
nation to inaugurate the broad program of educa- 
tion in behalf of the American farmer that he had 
been formulating throughout almost half a century. 
Henceforth his service was national in scope. I| 

He entered upon his new task with enthusiasm. 
The College of Agriculture granted him an indef- 
inite leave of absence, and from that time, except 
for occasional trips to Iowa where he retained offi- 
cial residence, Washington was his permanent home 
and the United States his field of thought and 
responsibility. 

One bond of duty always attached him to Iowa. 
He believed that every man should exercise his 
privilege of voting, so he made it a rule to return at 
election time. Often he aided his party in political 
campaigns, sometimes speaking in districts that 
others feared to enter. It was his habit, however, to 
deliver his last speech in a campaign to his home 
constituency — a custom pleasing to himself as well 
as his friends. 

Mr. Wilson stated his attitude toward the work of 
the Department of Agriculture very clearly in his 
first annual report. The Department was organized, 
he said, ^'to help farmers to a better knowledge of 
production and its tendencies at home and abroad, 
so as to enable them to intelligently meet the re- 



A MAN OF VISION 



73 



quirements of home and foreign markets for mate- 
rial that may be profitably grown or manufactured 
on American farms.'' It was also intended that the 
Department should organize a comprehensive sys- 
tem of teaching agricultural science to farmers. 
The three agencies through which Secretary Wilson 
hoped to obtain these results were the State agri- 
cultural colleges, the experiment stations, and a 
corps of competent research scientists in the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture. 

It was through the latter that he expected to ac- 
complish the most practical and far-reaching results. 
They were to be his personal assistants, appointed 
to do specific tasks, and held responsible for the 
successful execution of their assignments. He 
planned to secure these workers from the agricul- 
tural colleges which were turning out every year 
scores of intelligent and ambitious young graduates 
who desired flirther opportunity for study and re- 
search. Congress, he proposed, should make appro- 
priations that would attract the most promising of 
them into government work. Well equipped labora- 
tories at Washington were to be the center of this 
activity, but the men were also to be sent wherever 
else they might be needed. 

Secretary Wilson was well qualified to make this 
policy effective. He was a good judge of men and 
he insisted upon the same standards of energy and 
efficiency among his assistants that he maintained 
for himself. In scientific fields in which he, himself, 



74 



THE PALIMPSEST 



was not an expert he employed specialists, thus ex- 
tending the scope of research work to any subject 
that seemed to need attention. Both the research 
assistant and the trained scientist, he thought, 
should be adequately paid: the former a living wage 
and the latter a salary sufficient to prevent him from 
accepting inducements outside of government ser- 
vice. 

The magnitude of the task Secretary "Wilson 
undertook and the energy with which he proceeded 
to its accomplishment may be indicated by a few 
special problems. Early in 1897 it became apparent 
that there would be a surplus of butter on the 
American market. By midsummer the price of the 
best creamery butter had fallen to fifteen cents a 
pound. If this condition continued dairying would 
decrease and the farmers would sell instead of feed 
their grain and provender — a policy which Mr. 
"Wilson had discouraged for many years. In this 
contingency the Department of Agriculture made a 
number of experimental exports of butter for the 
purpose of creating a foreign demand and securing 
exact information concerning the opportunities af- 
forded. The butter was obtained from leading dairy 
States, prepared with special reference to the 
demands of foreign trade, and consigned to a repre- 
sentative of the Department at London who dis 
posed of it himself. He attempted to ascertain the 
candid opinion of each buyer as to the quality of the 
butter. Agents of the Department followed the 



A MAN OF VISION 



75 



transportation of the butter in an effort to avoid de- 
lays, provide refrigeration, and prevent careless 
handling. These experiments demonstrated that 
American butter could be delivered in prime condi- 
tion to British consumers within fifteen or twenty 
days from the time it was made, that the only abso- 
lutely pure butter imported into Great Britain came 
from the United States and Denmark, and that the 
price of butter in America could be increased over 
fifty per cent in a few months. 

Another problem of an entirely different nature 
attracted Mr. Wilson's attention. Enormous sums 
of money were being lost each year because farmers 
had no authoritative means of forecasting weather 
conditions. This was true in the grain States, but 
more particularly in the fruit regions of the Far 
West. Daily weather reports were telegraphed to 
thousands of towns and broadcast to surrounding 
farms over rural telephones. 

A number of corollary functions developed from 
the daily weather service. Mr. Wilson conceived the 
idea of sending out weekly climate and crop reports 
to all parts of the country. This data enabled the 
farmer to judge future market conditions, it indi- 
cated the type of product best suited to a particular 
locality, and it suggested the adaptation of new 
products to fit peculiar conditions of soil and cli- 
mate. Losses from storms and floods were cur- 
tailed by means of special reports based on daily 
temperature and rain-gauge readings from all parts 



76 



THE PALIMPSEST 



of the country. Specialists were able to predict 
river floods with astonishing accuracy, while ad- 
vance reports of storms made it possible for lake 
vessels to seek safety in time. 

In the biological field Secretary Wilson was espe- 
cially interested in the study of the geographical 
distribution of plants and animals with a view to 
locating the boundaries of their natural habitat, the 
study of the food habits of birds and mammals to 
ascertain the economic relations of native species, 
the eradication of insect pests by the development of 
parasites, and the prevention of disease among 
domestic animals. 

By means of chemical analysis of soil and the 
comparison of American soils with those of other 
countries, the Secretary determined what grains 
and grasses could be successfully introduced. He 
wanted to secure products that would withstand the 
alkali and drouth of the West, that would rejuvenate 
the w^orn-out soil of the East, and that were adapted 
to the cheap land of the South. The object was to 
substitute superior foreign grasses, grains, and 
fruits for inferior native varieties. 

Nor was Mr. Wilson unmindful of the needs of 
women on the farm. Under his direction some edu- 
cational work was begun in dietetics, methods of 
cooking, and food values. On this subject let him 
speak for himself: **In the great work of helping 
the women of our land, nearly half of whom are 
toiling in the homes upon our farms, this Depart- 



A MAN OF VISION 



77 



ment, it is believed, has a large duty to perform. 
For, whatever will be effective in raising the grade 
of the home life on the farm, in securing the better 
nourishment of the farmer's family, and in sur- 
rounding them with the refinements and attractions 
of a well-ordered home, will powerfully contribute 
alike to the material prosperity of the country and 
the general welfare of the farmers." Later he car- 
ried the idea much farther when he expressed the 
wish that the Department might extend its assist- 
ance to those *^who are engaged in the noble task of 
giving practical training to the future wives and 
mothers of our farmers and to the vast army of 
faithful women who are bearing the heavy burdens 
of keeping the farmers' homes pure and sweet and 
rearing the future masters of our vast agricultural 
domain. ' ' 

James Wilson was Secretary of Agriculture for 
sixteen years — serving through the administrations 
of Presidents McKinley, Eoosevelt, and Taft. He 
was a member of the cabinet longer than any other 
man in the history of the United States. His achieve- 
ments were amazing. He began with a great pur- 
pose and remained to witness the fulfillment of his 
vision. His final report closes with this sentence: 
^^Men grow old in service and in years, and cease 
their labor, but the results of their labor and the 
children of their brains will live on ; and may what- 
ever of worth that is in these be everblooming. ' ' 

Bertha Ann Eeuter 



A Contested Election 



The first unofficial returns from the Congressional 
election in the fifth district of Iowa in November, 
1882, were discouraging to the Republicans. Benja- 
min T. Frederick, a Democrat, had apparently been 
elected to Congress by the very narrow margin of 
sixteen votes. A more astonishing feature of the 
election was the defeat of the Eepublican candidate, 
James Wilson. ^^Tama Jim", as he was commonly 
called, was almost universally respected and ad- 
mired, while his Democratic opponent was unpopu- 
lar even among members of that party. *'So near 
and yet so far'', sighed a Republican editor, and then 
proceeded to upbraid the rank and file of his party 
for their apparent indifference and neglect. 

A few days later the clouds of Republican gloom 
were dispelled by corrected election returns which 
gave James Wilson a plurality of twenty-five votes. 
The original count, it was reported, had not included 
the votes cast in Taylor Township of Marshall 
County, which had been disregarded by the county 
board of supervisors because one of the judges had 
not signed the poll books. Afterward, however, a 
law was discovered which authorized a majority of 
the judges of election to act for the entire body. 
Thereupon the supervisors certified the Taylor 
Township votes to the State Board of Canvassers, 

78 



A CONTESTED ELECTION 79 



and the Eepublican candidate was accordingly de- 
clared elected. 

But Mr. Frederick was not to be disposed of so 
readily. He decided to spare no pains in an effort 
to prevent the certificate of election being issued to 
, Mr. Wilson. Failing in that he would carry his con- 
I test to the House of Eepresentatives. Since a ma- 
jority of the Eepresentatives in the Forty-eighth 
Congress were Democrats he anticipated that his 
claim to a seat would be approved. 

Early in December, 1882, a hearing was held be- 
fore the State Executive Council. Both Mr. Wilson 
and Mr. Frederick were present: the former was 
represented by J. H. Bradley of Marshalltown, while 
Timothy 0. Brown and B. F. Kaufman served as 
counsel for the latter. On behalf of Mr. Frederick 
it was urged that the State Board of Canvassers had 
no judicial power over election returns, but merely 
the administrative function of making official ac- 
ceptance. The second certificate sent by the Mar- 
shall County board of supervisors, Mr. Brown 
maintained, was not an election return, but simply a 
statement of what the board had done, and therefore 
the State canvassers had no right to consider it. To 
support this position a Supreme Court decision was 
cited which held that if an election board had once 
completed its count and signed the returns it could 
not make a recount — though it was admitted that 
this decision applied only to township or precinct 
canvassers. 



80 



THE PALIMPSEST 



Mr. Bradley, on the other hand, pointed ont that 
according to law the county board of supervisors of 
Marshall County had erred in throwing out the votes 
from Taylor Township. He claimed that the super- 
visors, acting as the board of canvassers, were en- 
gaged in the performance of a ministerial duty and 
should not have judged upon the validity of the poll 
books. The names of the election judges appeared 
thereon and the fact that a clerk had signed for one 
of the judges did not alter the case. Moreover, the 
law plainly stated that the action of a majority of 
the election judges was sufficient. He too supported 
his contentions with citations from decisions which 
had been rendered by State and Federal courts, and 
requested that the certificate of election be issued on 
the basis of the corrected returns from Marshall 
County. 

The Executive Council appears to have taken no 
decisive action immediately after the hearing and 
Mr. Frederick's next move was to apply to the dis- 
trict court of Polk County for a writ of injunction 
forbidding a count of the votes from Taylor Town- 
ship. The writ was issued by Judge William H. 
McHenry but in spite of this action a certificate of 
election was given to Mr. "Wilson. ^'It remains for 
Mr. Frederick'', said a Democratic editor, ^Ho carry 
his case to a higher tribunal where justice and non- 
partisanship will obtain in determining the legal 
right. ' ' 

Accordingly the dispute was carried to the Forty- 



A CONTESTED ELECTION 



81 



eighth Congress in December of 1883. The papers 
relating to the contest were formally presented to 
the House of Eepresentatives on January 10, 1884, 
and were referred to the committee on elections. No 
report concerning the contest appears to have been 
made during the first session of the Forty-eighth 
Congress, but on February 19, 1885, only thirteen 
days before the end of that Congress, Eisden Ben- 
nett, a Eepresentative from North Carolina, report- 
ed on behalf of the Democratic majority of the 
committee on elections that in its opinion James 
Wilson had not been elected from the Fifth Con- 
gressional District of Iowa, that he was therefore 
not entitled to a seat in the House, and that Benja- 
min T. Frederick should be seated. Mr. Bennett 
also served notice that he would call up the report 
for consideration at an early date. Upon the request 
of Edward K. Valentine, a Eepresentative from Ne- 
braska, leave to file a report containing the views of 
the minority of the committee on elections was 
granted, and four days later, on February 23rd, this 
report was submitted by Samuel H. Miller, a Eepre- 
sentative from Pennsylvania. 

The reports of the committee on elections indicate 
that the issues of the contest were no longer based 
upon the returns from Taylor Township in Marshall 
County, but upon irregularities in many precincts 
throughout the district. Indeed, the majority of the 
committee graciously admitted the returns from 
Taylor Township in spite of the fact that, according 



82 



THE PALIMPSEST 



to their contentions, these votes had been irregularly 
certified to the State authorities and in spite of the 
contention that the counting of these votes had actu- 
ally been commenced before the polls were closed. 

Most of the circumstances in dispute related to the 
general recount of Congressional election votes 
which had been made. According to this second 
count, the supporters of Mr. Frederick claimed that 
their candidate had been elected by a plurality of 
twenty- three votes. 

Mr. Wilson's proponents objected to giving the 
seat to the Democratic candidate on the results of 

pretended recounts'' because hired agents of Mr. 
Frederick had tampered with the ballots and had 
opened ballot boxes and counted votes without the 
knowledge of Mr. Wilson or his agents. One agent 
for Mr. Frederick admitted that he had been em- 
ployed for about twenty-one days '^laying the foun- 
dation" for the contest, and had visited about thirty 
precincts in which the ballot boxes had been opened. 
He insisted, however, that he did not change any of 
the ballots but merely * ^ touched them with the rub- 
ber end of his pencil". A ballot box in Tama was 
alleged to have been forcibly opened with a hatchet 
by the chairman of the local Democratic party com- 
mittee prior to the recount. In Marshalltown the 
ballots were said to have been dumped into a large 
paper box which was kept in the rear office room of 
some local business men, a room which was open to 
the public generally and especially to Frederick and 



A CONTESTED ELECTION 



83 



Ms friends who frequently met there to play cards. 

The majority report dwelt upon irregularities 
claimed to have been practiced at the election by 
the supporters of Mr. "Wilson. The election returns 
from Homer Township in Benton County showed 
that sixty-six votes had been cast for Wilson and 
only thirty-five for Frederick, while the vote for 
other candidates on party lines was almost exactly 
the reverse. Later, forty-two electors declared 
under oath that they had meant to vote for Mr. 
Frederick. It was claimed that a Eepublican had 
supplied some of the German voters with ballots 
labeled Democratic" and bearing the name of 
James "Wilson as a candidate for Congress, and had 
led them to believe that by casting these ballots they 
would be voting for the Democratic candidate, Fred- 
erick. 

The contest was not brought before the House 
until the second day of March. Only two more days 
and the final session of the Forty-eighth Congress 
would come to an end. If Mr. Wilson's friends 
could prevent the resolution to seat his opponent 
from coming to a vote he would be able to complete 
his term without the stigma of the charge of having 
usurped the position. To attain this end the minor- 
ity resorted to every parliamentary means at their 
disposal. The fact that the resolution was a privi- 
leged measure limited the resources for filibustering, 
so that the Wilson adherents were confined to the 
use of objections to consideration, roll calls, motions 



84 



THE PALIMPSEST 



for recesses with aniendmeiits thereto, calls of the 
House to determine the presence of a quornm, ad- 
journments, and other motions of high privilege. 
These tactics were employed most etfectively, how- 
ever, and the resolution was submerged until in the 
closing hours of the session when some much desired 
legislation was tied up by the filibuster. 

All through the night of March 3rd the House re- 
mained in session, striving frantically to finish the 
work before the hour of final adjournment. The in- 
auguration of President Cleveland was only a few 
hours away. The city of Washington thronged with 
visitors. Early in the forenoon of March 4th specta- 
tors filled the House and Senate galleries to witness 
the closing scenes of the Forty-eighth Congress. 
Former soldiers were present in large numbers, at- 
tracted chiefly by their interest in a bill authorizing 
the President to place upon the retired list one per- 
son from among the former generals of the United 
States armies with the rank and pay of a general. 
The measure was designed for the relief of General 
Grant, then mortally ill and devoid of means of 
support. 

On the floor of the House many Representatives 
sought to obtain favorable action on the bill, which 
had already passed the Senate. The idea had won 
popular approval, and was supported by a substan- 
tial majority in the House of Representatives, chiefly 
Republicans and Democrats from the North. 

A serious obstacle stood in the way. Directly pre- 



A CONTESTED ELECTION 85 



ceding the Grant bill in the order of business was 
the Frederick- Wilson election contest. The pension 
bill might have been acted upon under a suspension 
of the rules when it was called up, with the election 
contest still pending, but Mr. Bennett had objected 
and so long as the objection was maintained the 
Grant bill could not be acted upon until after the 
disposal of all other privileged motions. It was 
therefore imperative that the contested election be 
decided before the measure for the relief of General 
Grant could be passed. 

Mr. Wilson's friends found themselves in a di- 
lemma. They knew full well that if they allowed a 
vote upon the election contest Wilson would be de- 
prived of his seat. Fully capable of continuing the 
filibuster to the end, they were in no mood to desert 
their colleague during the closing hours of the Con- 
gress. Even if they should allow the election con- 
test to be decided their opponents might afterward 
refuse to act upon the Grant bill. Moreover, they 
had no positive assurance that the Grant bill would 
pass if it was permitted to come to a vote. Yet to 
continue the filibuster would be absolutely fatal to 
the measure providing comfort for a former Presi- 
dent and expressing a nation's gratitude to one who 
had contributed largely to the preservation of the 
Union — a measure which they earnestly desired to 
have enacted into law. What should they do 1 

The position of Wilson's opponents was much less 
difficult. While many of them were willing to vote 



86 



THE PALIMPSEST 



relief to Greneral Grant they felt no particular obli- 
gation in the matter. For the most part they would 
have been quite satisfied to let the measure die. 
There were even a few bitter Southern Democrats 
who seized upon the election contest as a weapon to 
defeat the cherished plan of Northern men to pen- 
sion their most successful leader in the Civil War. 

The forenoon of March 4th slipped away. As 
Joshua commanded the sun and moon to stand still 
in order that the victory of God's people over their 
enemies might be more complete, so now the clocks 
of Congress were turned back that this battle of 
parliamentary wits might continue. In the Vice 
President's room Grover Cleveland awaited the in- 
augural ceremony, while President Arthur was busy 
in his office at the Capitol signing the last acts of the 
Congress. 

In the House of Eepresentatives members were 
clamoring for recognition. Their eagerness to be 
heard only lessened the possibilities of concluding 
the business. In the midst of this tumult was James 
Wilson — vitally interested in the outcome and tech- 
nically disqualified from participating in the contest, 
yet he alone was in a position to make the decision. 

It was not the first time that the balance of power 
in Congress had rested in the hands of an lowan. 
Only a few years before Senator James W. Grimes, 
though he was seriously ill at the time, had gone to 
the Senate chamber and cast the vote that prevented 
Andrew Johnson from being removed from the office 



A CONTESTED ELECTION 



87 



of President of the United States. Thongh he sacri- 
ficed Ms political future, time has vindicated that 
vote. Would James Wilson exhibit similar unselfish- 
ness in order that the United States might render a 
token of gratitude to General Grant f 

A few more minutes of filibustering and the Forty- 
eighth Congress would end. If the records were to 
show that James Wilson had represented the Fifth 
Congressional District of Iowa from 1883 to 1885, it 
would be at the sacrifice of the pension for the sick 
and needy ex-President and commander of the Union 
armies. If the pension was to be granted, it v/ould 
mean that the election contest would first be decided 
against Wilson and the records would seem to indi- 
cate that James Wilson had fraudulently held his 
seat until the closing hours of the last session. Mr. 
Wilson could not have been unmindful of these con- 
siderations, as he decided upon his course of action. 

Confusion in the House had reached its highest 
pitch. Time and again the Speaker had reminded 
the Eepresentatives of the impossibility of conduct- 
ing business unless quiet and decorum prevailed. 
The sergeant-at-arms had been directed to maintain 
order and to cause the members to resume their 
seats. It had even become necessary for the deputy 
sergeant-at-arms to proceed through the hall bear- 
ing the mace. 

During these attempts to restore order Mr. Ben- 
nett demanded a vote upon the resolution ousting 
Mr. Wilson from membership in the House of Repre- 



88 



THE PALIMPSEST 



sentatives. As for himself he promised to withdraw 
his objection to the pension bill if the minority wonld 
permit a decision of the contested election. ^^I do 
not say more", he added. ^^I do not keep the con- 
sciences of members. God Almighty has made the 
human mind free, and gentlemen can vote as they 
please." These remarks elicited laughter and dur- 
ing the tumult that followed Mr. Wilson sought to 
address the House. His efforts to attract the atten- 
tion of the Speaker proved to be of no avail, however. 
At length Thomas A. Robertson from Kentucky, a 
Democratic member of the committee on elections, 
informed the Speaker that the gentleman from Iowa 
desired to make a statement and requested that he 
be recognized. 

At once the chamber became strangely quiet, and 
every ear was strained to hear the words of the man 
in whose hands lay the balance of power. **Mr. 
Speaker," he said, '^f the House will vote to put 
General Grant on the retired list I am willing to be 
sacrificed after that." 

Loud applause greeted this announcement, but Mr. 
Bennett was uncompromising. He persisted in de- 
manding a vote on the contested election resolution 
before any other business should be transacted. 
Samuel H. Miller, a Eepublican member of the com- 
mittee on elections, who had led the filibuster to keep 
the contested election case from coming to a vote, 
stated that if a vote on the Grant bill were taken im- 
mediately he would withdraw all objection to de- 



A CONTESTED ELECTION 



89 



ciding the contested election afterward. When his 
proposal was met with cries of ^ ^ Oh no ! " he finally 
offered to allow a vote upon the contested election 
resolution first. He hoped that the House would act 
fairly upon both measures. 

Again Mr. Bennett reiterated his demand that the 
Speaker put the previous question, and after one 
more short parliamentary skirmish the House pro- 
ceeded to vote upon the resolution, ^^That James 
Wilson was not elected as a Representative in Con- 
gress from the fifth district of Iowa, and is not 
entitled to a seat on the floor of this House'', and 
further, ^^That Benjamin T. Frederick was duly 
elected as a Representative in Congress from the 
fifth district of Iowa, and is entitled to be sworn in 
as a member of this House." The result was true 
to expectations : James Wilson lost his seat, and 
Benjamin T. Frederick, presenting himself at the 
bar of the House, took the oath of office. 

A few minutes later, when the Grant bill passed 
the House, Mr. Frederick voted **Yea'', as James 
Wilson would have done. And thus it happened that 
General Grant's last days were filled with content- 
ment because an Iowa Congressman surrendered his 
seat in the House of Representatives. 

Jacob Van Ek 



Legislative Episodes 

While James Wilson was a member of the Iowa 
General Assembly he was chiefly responsible for two 
epoch-making pieces of legislation : railroad regula- 
tion and the ^^herd law''. Back of both enactments 
was the single idea of the protection of Iowa farm- ^ 
ers. In laying the foundation for governmental 
rate fixing Mr. Wilson anticipated the not far-dis- 
tant day when the interests of shippers and carriers 
wonld clash. The ^^herd law'' was the political 
acknowledgment of the transition of Iowa from 
prairie to field, with all the fundamental changes 
that implied. 

Prior to 1868 the policy of both State and Federal 
legislatures had been to stimulate railroad construc- 
tion by every means within their power. Millions of 
acres of the best land in Iowa were donated to the 
cause; townships, counties, and cities were author- 
ized to tax themselves heavily in aid of new rail- 
roads; and railroad companies were granted the 
power of eminent domain. Individuals contributed 
money with courageous optimism, while gifts of 
rights of way and depot sites were common. Every 
inducement was extended to railroad builders to 
multiply the tracks of the iron horse. No doubt the 
public paid far more toward the construction of the 
first railroads in Iowa than the stockholders did. 



90 



LEGISLATIVE EPISODES 



91 



In spite of all this encouragement the westward 
progress of the railroads was slow and uncertain. 
The people clamored for the fulfillment of promises 
long deferred. There was little thought of restric- 
tive regulation, present or future: the cry was for 
railroads — railroads at any price. Governor Wil- 
liam M. Stone, in his annual message to the Twelfth 
General Assembly, declared that while some of the 
railroad companies which had received land grants 
had failed to comply with the conditions stipulated 
the legislature would be justified in the exercise of 
still farther leniency toward them.'' Any legisla- 
tion, he thought, tending to their discouragement 
should be avoided''. 

To the Twelfth General Assembly fell the task of 
dealing with the delinquent land grant railroads. 
Several bills were introduced in the House of Repre- 
sentatives and referred to the committee on rail- 
roads, of which James "Wilson was a member. A 
farmer himself and the representative of a rural 
community, he naturally favored legislation foster- 
ing the new railroads. But he was not as willing to 
mortgage the future as some of his colleagues. 
Perhaps the construction of the Iowa Central Air 
Line (the Chicago and Northwestern route) through 
the southern part of Tama County in 1862 and the 
presence of the road from Dubuque to Iowa Falls 
fifteen or twenty miles north of his county had some 
bearing upon his attitude. His inherent antipathy to 
any action that might prove detrimental to the inter- 



92 



THE PALIMPSEST 



ests of agriculture was also a decisive factor in 
determining his position. 

The first measure reported to the House by the 
committee on railroads was a bill providing for 
and requiring the early construction of the Chicago, 
Eock Island and Pacific Railroad". The majority 
of the committee were opposed to any provision 
which might detract from the inducements to build, 
but James Wilson and one other member refused to 
accept the majority opinion and submitted a minor- 
ity report declaring that the bill ought not to pass 
without a proviso ^'reserving to the State of Iowa 
the right of regulating and restricting the freights 
and fares charged by said railroad company, when 
in the opinion of the Greneral Assembly they may 
become oppressive." 

For two whole days and parts of two more a hot 
debate was waged upon the floor of the House. 
There seemed to be no opposition to renewing the 
land grant of 1856 and legalizing the issuance of 
additional stock by the company, but many legisla- 
tors, especially those from the counties through 
which the road was to be built, doubted the advisa- 
bility of imposing any restrictions. Frederick Rec- 
tor of Fremont County said he had become convinced 
that it was wrong to legislate against the railroads. 
It would be time to legislate upon the subject when 
there was any evidence that the influence or rates of 
the railroads had become destructive of the interests 
of the State. 



LEGISLATIVE EPISODES 



93 



Mr. Wilson maintained that there ought to be no 
fear that the General Assembly would impose upon 
the railroads — the opposite was more likely to be 
the case. There were men, he said, who would ad- 
vise anything except guarding the interests of the 
people. 

John Hayden of Jefferson County was opposed to 
enjoining restrictions upon the Rock Island Bail- 
road that could not be placed upon other roads. To 
this Gibson Browne of Lee County replied that he 
realized how much the State was indebted to the 
railroads for its civilization, but he was none the 
less in favor of the amendment of the gentleman 
from Tama. 

Other members were emphatic in expressing the 
same opinion. Man after man arose to say that he 
was not disposed to be unfair to the railroads, but 
felt that this was a golden moment. ^^We must 
assert our right to-day to regulate the charges upon 
this railroad or forever after remain quiet", de- 
clared L. F. Parker, professor of ancient languages 
in Grinnell College and Representative of Poweshiek 
County. 

There were some, however, who still persisted in 
the notion that it was inexpedient if not unconstitu- 
tional for the State legislature to fix railroad rates, 
especially if such regulation was confined to the 
land grant railroads, and they attempted to delay 
further consideration. Mr. Wilson interposed with 
a motion to vote upon the question and his amend- 



94 



THE PALIMPSEST 



ment to make the Eock Island Railroad subject to 
rate regulation was adopted by a vote of fifty-four to 
twenty-nine. The bill as amended then passed the 
House without a single dissenting vote and the 
Senate concurred. 

Other land grant bills were considered by the 
Twelfth General Assembly. In every instance the 
House committee on railroads proposed to postpone 
the issue of rate regulation, but just as invariably 
James Wilson made a minority report, sometimes 
supported by another member of the committee, 
sometimes alone. Although his amendments always 
met obstinate opposition they were adopted in every 
instance, and every land grant act since that time 
has contained a similar provision. 

Thus, it was by virtue of the vision and independ- 
ence of James Wilson that the State legislature of 
Iowa first asserted the power to regulate railroad 
rates in the interest of the public. 

When the Thirteenth General Assembly was or- 
ganized in 1870, James Wilson was appointed chair- 
man of the House committee on agriculture. Of all 
the problems confronting the farmers of Iowa at 
that time he regarded the need of a herd law as the 
most important. The third measure introduced in 
the House that session was a bill by Mr. Wilson to 

restrain stock from running at large.'' On Febru- 
ary 7th the question came before the House and Mr. 
Wilson took the floor to present a '^number of facts 
in support" of the measure. 



LEGISLATIVE EPISODES 



95 



Existing fence legislation, he said, ^ ^ expresses the 
wants of the farmer in days that are past." The 
early settlers who located along the well-timbered 
streams had ready at hand the material to fence 
their farms and thus protect their crops from stock 
that was allowed to graze at large upon the unculti- 
vated land. But the extension of the railroads and 
the high price of wheat had enticed the pioneers out 
upon the prairie, where the difficulties of fencing 
their fields constituted a serious problem. 

There was not enough timber in the whole State of 
Iowa to fence its farms — as fences were then built. 
Already the scarcity of fence material was being 
felt in some sections. ''The early settlers have cut 
down the fine groves that should have been left to 
relieve the monotony of the landscape, furnish a 
sanctuary for the birds and ameliorate the rigors of 
our climate ' declared Mr. Wilson. ' ' The supply of 
native timber will be completely exhausted in fur- 
nishing ties for railroads, material for bridges, and 
fence posts, before it can be replaced from artificial 
groves; while the birds, our only protection from 
insects, are by law invited to leave the State. ' ' 

In Mr. Wilson's opinion it was imperative to re- 
lieve the prairie farmers of the exactions of the 
existing Iowa fence laws. The cost of fencing a 
prairie farm, he computed, amounted to more than 
the original price of the land. By the time a home- 
steader had built a house, bought some live stock, 
and purchased a few implements his means were 



96 



THE PALIMPSEST 



usually exhausted. To compel such a man to fence 
his farm was an unwarranted requirement, and yet a 
neighbor's cattle ought not to be allowed to destroy 
his crops with impunity. 

The remedy, as he saw it, was to fence the pas- 
tures instead of the grain fields. Let every one take 
care of his own stock. At that time each Iowa farm 
maintained an average of about nine cattle. Where 
is the necessity of fencing 160 acres of land for the 
privilege of keeping nine head of cattle?" he ex- 
claimed. ^^An acre of land for each, seeded in clover 
and fenced, would keep them better than they are 
now kept.'' In the newly settled counties in the 
northwestern part of the State the farmers owned 
much less live stock than the average so that ^'the 
fencing of one section in a township, or one acre in 
thirty-six", was all that would be necessary. 

'^Perhaps more petitions have been presented for 
your consideration on this subject than ever were 
before sent upon any other, except the temperance 
question", said Mr. Wilson, in concluding his speech. 
^ ' We do not ask a general law, although we believe 
the whole State would be benefitted; nor do I wish 
to take the responsibility of making final legislation 
for my county. We wish to submit it to a majority 
vote of any county desiring to act upon it, providing 
a way by which it can be repealed." 

Debate on the bill was confined almost entirely to 
the procedure of assessing damages against the 
person whose stock trespassed upon another man's 



LEGISLATIVE EPISODES 



97 



i property. As finally amended the measure passed 
the House by a vote of eighty to twelve, and was 
accepted by the Senate, though not without vigorous 
opposition of a few members. 

The work of Mr. Wilson in the Twelfth and Thir- 
teenth General Assemblies seems to have commend- 
ed him strongly to his constituents. Not only had 
he insisted upon the right of the State to regulate 
railroad rates and secured a more equitable fence 
law in behalf of the farmers in the newly settled 
western part of the State, but he had steadfastly 
supported the temperance forces on the liquor ques- 
tion and had voted for an equal suffrage amendment 
to the Constitution — both of which were prominent 
issues of the day. At all events he was reelected in 
1871 for his third successive term in the General 
Assembly — one of five Eepresentatives upon whom 
that honor was conferred that year. 

The results of the election were no sooner an- 
nounced than it was generally assumed that James 
Wilson would be chosen Speaker of the House. 
Shortly after the election Cicero Close announced 
his candidacy for the speakership but as public 
opinion became more and more favorable to Mr. 
Wilson he apparently gave up his aspirations to the 
office. *'Tama Jim" was popular among his col- 
leagues and his reputation for not being bitterly 
partisan made him acceptable to all factions. When 
the Kepublican House caucus met, James Wilson 
was unanimously selected as the party candidate 



98 



THE PALIMPSEST 



for Speaker — an honor bestowed *^for the first 
time" in the history of Iowa. ^'lowa has few men 
of more worth, none of a better manliness, none 
more thoroughly a representative of the people", 
commented the Des Moines Register. ^^That Mr. 
Wilson will prove a popnlar presiding officer, his 
experience in legislative work, acquaintance with 
parliamentary law, promptness and decision of 
character, added to a dignified and courteous bear- 
ing, leave no doubt. ' ' 

Inasmuch as the House was overwhelming Ee- 
publican, the actual election of Mr. "Wilson was a 
mere formality. Having been conducted to the 
chair, he made a short speech in which he expressed 
his appreciation of the honor and concluded with 
the statement: Regarding every member upon the 
floor as my personal friend, I will endeavor to dis- 
charge the duties of the chair with fairness, and in 
the spirit in which you placed me here. ' ' 

The Speaker had no sooner taken his seat than a 
colored waiter from the old Savery House was seen 
passing down the aisle, bearing a tray on which was 
a bottle of wine and a glass goblet. He stopped at 
Ed Campbell's desk, whereupon the genial Demo- 
crat from Fairfield deliberately filled the goblet with 
wine and, after a fulsome greeting, drank a toast of 
good fellowship to the success of the Speaker, while 
the other members looked on in astonishment. 

John Ely Briggs 



Comment by the Editor 

^ BIOGRAPHY 

Biography is history in the singular. Yet history, 
though it is based upon biography, is not the plural 
of it. Biography is perpendicular; while formal 
history is horizontal and cuts athwart the lives of 
men and women, destroying the continuity of their 
careers. Any chronicle of events deforms biogra- 
phy, for the character and deeds of people are dis- 
torted when displayed only in glimpses amidst 
distracting scenes upon a crowded stage. History is 
apt to make puppets of men to do the bidding of 
cause and effect. 

In another sense biography may be conceived as 
the soil from which civilization has sprung. Since 
every human achievement has been rooted in the life 
of some man or woman, every idea, no matter how 
abstract or general, has been ultimately personal. 
Eeligion and government result from the action of 
personality upon the relations of God and man. The 
most amazing discovery of science is after all only 
the creature of someone's intellect. And what is art 
but the expression of the soul of the artist 1 

The charm of personality is what gives biography 
its perennial appeal. It is not so much what a man 
does as what he is that perpetuates his memory. 



99 



100 



THE PALIMPSEST 



Character is the immortal element in any hmnan 
life. 

To portray the spirit of the subject truly is the 
height of biographical achievement. It is not neces- 
sary to embalm a man's career in several volumes: 
a vivid portrait may be sketched with a few illumi- 
nating anecdotes and a clear analysis of character. 
Vitality is essential to pen portraiture. If biogra- 
phy is to attain its proper place in literature, let 
biographers take heed of the consummate skill of 
the writers of fiction who make their heroes live. 

J. E. B. 




APRIL 1923 



CONTENTS 



The Iowa 



101 



Ruth A. Galeaher 



ThelVinter of Eighty-dne 113 

Josephine Barry Donovan 



Tesson's Apple Orchard 

Ben HuR Wilson 



Comment 



121 

132 



The Editor 



..Published Monthly At IowaCitit By 

' IHE State HiisroRicAf SqcieiyofIowa 



ENTERED AS SECOND CLASS MATTER JULY 28 1920 AT THE POST OFFICE AT IOWA CITY IOWA 



THE PURPOSE OF THIS MAGAZINE 

The Palimpsest, issued monthly by the State His- 
torical Society of Iowa, is devoted to the dissemina- 
tion of Iowa History. Supplementing the other pub- 
lications of this Society, it aims to present the materials 
of Iowa History in a form that is attractive and a style 
that is popular in the best sense — to the end that the 
story of our Commonwealth may be more widely read 
and cherished. 

Benj. F. Shambaugh 

Superintendent 



THE MEANING OF PALIMPSESTS 

In early times palimpsests were parchments or other 
materials from which one or more writings had been 
erased to give room for later records. But the eras- 
ures were not always complete; and so it became the 
fascinating task of scholars not only to translate the 
later records but also to reconstruct the original writ- 
ings by deciphering the dim fragments of letters partly 
erased and partly covered by subsequent texts. 

The history of Iowa may be likened to a palimpsest 
which holds the records of successive generations. To 
decipher these records of the past, reconstruct them, 
and tell the stories which they contain is the task of 
those who write history. 



PRICE — 10c per copy: $1 per year: free to members of Society 
ADDRESS — The State Historical Society Iowa City Iowa 



The Palimpsest 

EDITED BY JOHN ELY BRIGGS 
Vol. IV Issued in April 1923 No. 4 

COPYRIGHT 1B23 BY THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF IOWA 

The Iowa 

At noon on the twenty-eighth of March, 1896, the 
shipyard of William Cramp and Sons at Phila- 
delphia was thronged with spectators —- many of 
them prominent officials from Washington and the 
State of Iowa. The day was warm, and the sun- 
light sparkled on the water of the Delaware Eiver 
and lighted np the keel of a giant ship which, re- 
splendent in red and white paint, rested as if in a 
cradle at the head of an incline. This was the 
center of attraction. 

There was a word of command, the sound of a 
saw somewhere below, and the great hull began to 
move. At this moment Mary Lord Drake, the 
daughter of the Governor of Iowa, dashed a bottle 
of champagne against the bow which towered high 
above her head and, as the sparkling wine ran down 
the side, said, **I christen thee Iowa^\ Not many 
heard the words, however, for innumerable whistles 



101 



102 



THE PALIMPSEST 



blew a noisy welcome as the keel slipped down the 
ways and floated out npon the waters of the Dela- 
ware, while the thousands of spectators cheered the 
promise of a new national defender. 

Perhaps it was prophetic of the future that, in a 
poem written on this occasion, S. H. M. Byers includ- 
ed this stanza : 

Far better the ship go down 

And her guns, and her thousand men, 

In the depth of the sea to drown, 

Than ever to sail again 

With the day of her promise done. 

Or the star of her glory set, 

Or a thread from the standard gone 

That has never yielded yet. 

Thus was born upon the surface of the waters the 
battleship Iowa which had been authorized by an act 
of Congress on July 19, 1892, with an initial appro- 
priation of four million dollars. Slowly during the 
months which followed the keel became a warship, 
bearing upon her sides an armor of plated steel and 
having within five great boilers and two sets of triple 
expansion engines which were to give to the empty 
frame the throb of life. 

When finally completed, at a total cost of $5,871,- 
206.32, the Iowa well deserved the title, queen of 
warships which had been conferred upon her by a 
newspaper correspondent at the time of the launch- 
ing. Three hundred and sixty feet long — one- 
fifth longer than the average city block — and over 



THE IOWA 



103 



seventy-two feet wide, the Iowa had a displacement 
of over eleven thousand tons. The lighting plant 
alone weighed forty-five tons. She carried four 12- 
inch, eight 8-inch, and six 4-inch guns, in addition to 
numerous smaller weapons, and was capable of a 
speed of sixteen knots an hour. An enthusiastic 
Iowa editor declared: ^*As an example of the Amer- 
ican naval architect's skill she is an achievement of 
which we should well be proud, and a namesake in 
which any state might glory. ' * 

A crew of about five hundred officers and men, 
under the command of Captain W. T. Sampson, was 
assigned to the new battleship and on June 16, 1897, 
the Iowa, equipped with intellect as well as body and 
life, was put in commission. 

On July 19th, the silver service, purchased with an 
appropriation of five thousand dollars by the Iowa 
General Assembly, was presented to the ship at 
Newport, Rhode Island, by C. G. McCarthy, State 
Auditor of Iowa, whose brief speech included this 
wish: ''While we hope that our navy shall never 
turn from the face of an enemy, may we not indulge 
the larger hope that this stately Iowa and the other 
battleships and the cruisers — armored and unar- 
mored — shall somehow find a place as messengers 
of peace rather than of war — be heralds of human 
progress rather thanfoemen in international strife.'* 
The gift was accepted by Captain Sampson. 

Less than a year later, however, the Iowa was 
stationed outside the harbor of Santiago, Cuba, 



104 



THE PALIMPSEST 



where the Spanish fleet under the command of Ad- 
miral Pascual de Cervera had taken refuge. The 
Cuban situation and the sinking of the Maine had 
at last brought on war between Spain and the United 
States. In the bottle-like harbor, shut off from view 
by high cliffs, were the Spanish warships which had 
crossed the Atlantic, like the Armada of old, to com- 
bat Anglo-Saxon civilization. While American 
cruisers patrolled the ocean, and seaboard cities be- 
gan to talk of possible bombardment, the Spanish 
fleet had slipped into the harbor and a squadron of 
the United States navy was watching the entrance, 
lest the enemy's ships again escape to threaten 
American cities and commerce. 

An attempt had been made by Eichmond P. Hob- 
son and seven sailors to so block the harbor that the 
Spanish fleet could not come out, but the plan did not 
prove entirely successful. There was still a passage 
way, and the American warships, stationed in a 
semi-circle about the harbor — like huge cats pa- 
tiently watching a mouse hole — were doubtless hop- 
ing that the enemy would venture out. 

The morning of July 3, 1898, was clear and calm. 
On board the American ships preparations were be- 
ing made for inspection and religious services, for 
it was Sunday. At the extreme eastern point of the 
crescent formed by the blockading squadron was the 
New Yorlc, the flagship of Eear Admiral Sampson 
who had been the first captain of the Iowa. Far to 
the west was the Broohlyn, one of the fastest of the 



THE IOWA 



105 



American ships, flying the pennant of Commodore 
W. S. Schley, the second in command. Between the 
two from east to west lay the Indiana, the Oregon — 
just in from her trip around South America — the 
Iowa, and the Texas. Smaller craft hovered about. 
The New York was just starting eastward to Sibon- 
ey where Admiral Sampson was to have a confer- 
ence with General William R. Shafter. 

Suddenly, at nine-thirty-five, the Sabbath calm 
which lay over the scene was broken, when the Iowa, 
stationed directly opposite the mouth of the harbor, 
fired a shot from a small gun and raised the signal, 
*^The enemy is attempting to escape". The same 
signal soon flew from every ship and the Brooklyn 
— the flagship in the absence of the New York — 
signalled, Clear for action". 

It was no false alarm: the Spanish ships were 
steaming out of the harbor. At the head, flying the 
Admiral's pennant, came the Infanta Maria Teresa, 
the red and yellow flag of Spain showing vividly 
against the green of the sloping Cuban shore. Be- 
hind her were the Vizcaya, the Cristobal Colon, and 
the Almirante Oquendo, followed by the smaller de- 
stroyers Pluton and Furor. 

The signal from the flagship was hardly needed. 
With one accord the American sailors hurried to 
their places, literally throwing themselves down the 
ladders in their eagerness to reach their stations, 
while deep in the holds the engineers and firemen 
worked frantically to start their engines, for the 



106 



THE PALIMPSEST 



American cruisers were, of course, at rest. Almost 
as one ship the American fleet got into action, the 
faster warships like the Brooklyn and the Oregon 
leading the way. Under a vast cloud of smoke from 
the guns and smokestacks and later from fires on 
board the ships, the American squadron pursued the 
fleeing Spanish cruisers westward along the coast, 
pouring a rain of shot into whichever of the enemy 
happened to be within striking distance. 

The Spanish ships were supposed to be faster than 
those of the United States, but the American sailors 
were enthusiastic and well prepared while the Span- 
ish crews hoped at best for escape and not for vic- 
tory. One by one the enemy ships, overwhelmed by 
the accuracy of the American gunners, turned in 
toward the shore, hoping at least to give the rem- 
nants of their men a chance to escape from the fire 
and shot-swept wrecks. 

Nearest the harbor lay the smaller boats, the 
Pluton and Furor , and west of them were the burn- 
ing hulks of the Maria Teresa and Oquendo, The 
Vizcaya — not long before an official guest in the 
harbor of New York — and the Colon, which had 
been protected to some extent by her sister ships, 
continued their desperate flight along the coast, still 
hoping to outdistance the slower American battle- 
ships and escape. There was no escape. The Viz- 
caya was soon on fire and American sailors were 
risking their lives to rescue the enemy from the 
burning wreck. The Colon continued a little farther 



THE IOWA 



107 



along the coast, and then she too yielded to the com- 
bined attack of the Oregon, the Brooklyn, and the 
Texas. It was a quarter past one. 

During the entire battle the American fleet lost 
only one man killed, and one seriously wounded. 
The enemy ^s loss was estimated at 323 killed, 151 
wounded, and about 1800 prisoners. 

The Iowa, having given the alarm, first attacked 
the Teresa in which she lodged two 12-inch shells 
that wrecked the steam pipes of the vessel and killed 
a number of the crew. Unable to handle the ship or 
work the guns in the face of the scalding steam and 
the fires which were soon raging as shell after shell 
found the target, the crew of the Teresa beached 
their ship and the Iowa for a time turned her guns 
upon the two destroyers which the converted yacht 
Gloucester was engaging. The smaller boats were 
soon put out of commission : the Furor was sunk and 
the Pluton was driven ashore not more than five 
miles from Santiago. Before long a shell penetrated 
one of the boilers of the Pluton and a vast geyser- 
like column of steam rose hundreds of feet in the 
air. 

Leaving the wrecked destroyers, the Iowa, with 
some other battleships, concentrated upon the 
Oquendo and then upon the Vizcaya. When it was 
apparent that these Spanish ships were doomed, 
the Indiana was ordered back to the harbor, lest 
the Alvarado or the Reina Mercedes which had re- 
mained in the harbor should raid the transports to 



108 THE PALIMPSEST 

the east; the Iowa was given permission to remain 
near the Vizcaya to help in the rescue of the crew; 
and the other ships went on in pursuit of the Colon. 

Thus it happened that the Iowa received on board 
some two hundred and fifty Spanish prisoners from 
the sinking Vizcaya, including Captain Antonio Eu- 
late. As the Spanish officer was lifted over the side 
of the Iowa the guard presented arms, the officer of 
the deck saluted, and the Spanish prisoners already 
on board stood at attention. Captain Eulate slowly 
rose to his feet, unbuckled his sword belt with some 
difficulty — for he had been wounded — kissed the 
hilt of his sword, and presented it to Captain Robley 
D. Evans, who declined to take the sword, but ac- 
cepted the surrender and shook hands with the 
Spanish captain. The crew of the Iowa, stripped to 
the waist, blackened with powder, and covered with 
perspiration, broke into cheers. 

As Captain Eulate was being conducted below for 
medical attention, he turned toward his wrecked and 
burning ship, stretched out his hand in farewell, and 
exclaimed, ^^Adios, Vizcaya' \ As the words left his 
lips the magazine of the Vizcaya exploded and there 
rose a column of smoke and steam which was seen 
fifteen miles away. 

But the Iowa was to receive a still more distin- 
guished guest that day. Early in the afternoon Ad- 
miral Cervera, his son, and a number of other offi- 
cers were brought on board the Iowa, escorted by 
Commander Richard Wainwright of the Gloucester. 



THE IOWA 



109 



The marine guard of eighty men paraded, the offi- 
cers and crew of the Vizcaya were grouped on the 
quarter deck, while the crew of the Iowa chistered 
over the turrets and superstructure. As the Span- 
ish commander stepped upon the deck, the American 
sailors manifested their admiration for the bravery 
of the Spaniards by cheering repeatedly, while Ad- 
miral Cervera, scantily clad, bareheaded, and bare- 
footed, just as he had been rescued from the Teresa, 
stood bowing his thanks. 

On board the Iowa there was nothing to mar the 
victory. Although she had been in the thick of the 
fight and had been struck several times by small pro- 
jectiles and by two 6-inch shells, one of which started 
a small fire, not a single member of the crew had 
been killed or even seriously wounded. 

The next twenty years in the career of the Iowa 
were uneventful: there was the usual routine of 
cruising, with frequent periods out of commission. 
In 1899, when the Iowa delegation met the Fifty- 
first Iowa Infantry on its return from the Philippine 
Islands, they attended church services on board the 
Iowa, then commanded by Captain C. F. Goodrich 
and anchored in the harbor at San Francisco. 

A report of the ship for 1901 shows an expenditure 
of $431,173.53 for maintenance during the year, 
about half of which was for the pay of officers and 
men. In 1907, the Iowa was in the squadron as- 
sembled off the Virginia coast in honor of the James- 



110 



THE PALIMPSEST 



town Exposition, but when the fleet left for its tri- 
umphal cruise around the world in December of that 
year the Iowa was left behind : already a new gener- 
ation had supplanted her. 

During the next decade the Iowa was on duty only 
part of the time. In July, 1912, for example, she was 
sent on a cruise with the naval militia — a warrior 
turned pedagogue. For several months just preced- 
ing the entrance of the United States into the World 
War, the old Iowa was used as a receiving ship, and 
during the war she was assigned to coast defense. 

Finally in 1919, a little more than twenty years 
after the victory at Santiago, even the name *^Iowa^' 
was erased from the records and the old battleship 
was designated merely as the ^^B S 4". About this 
time, the silver service, the gift of the Common- 
wealth for which the ship had been named, was re- 
moved to the Philadelphia navy yard where it still 
remains. In 1920 the former pride of the navy'^ 
was used as a target for bombing planes, but suf- 
fered comparatively little damage. 

The final chapter in the career of the Iowa was 
recorded in the Bay of Panama on the twenty-third 
of March, 1923, almost exactly twenty-seven years 
after the ship was launched. The veteran battleship 
had sailed for the last time down the Delaware Eiver 
from her birthplace at Philadelphia, she had voy- 
aged southward along the coast, and had passed 



THE IOWA 



111 



through the Panama Canal to the waters of the 
Pacific, where the spring maneuvers of the united 
American fleet w^ere to be held. 

There, surrounded by the new dreadnaughts, the 
Iowa made the supreme sacrifice for the sake of the 
American navy. Divested of her name, her crew, 
and her flag, the old warship was sent out under rad- 
io control as the target for the guns of the Missis- 
sippi, the new ' ^ queen of the navy ' ' — a practical use 
for an old ship, perhaps, but unpleasantly suggestive 
of the treatment accorded aged or injured wolves by 
the pack. The officers of the fleet, the sailors, and a 
delegation of civilians, including high officials of the 
navy and about one hundred Senators and Eepre- 
sentatives, were interested spectators. 

The faithful loiva responded to the control by 
wireless ^^as if the ghost of 'Fighting Bob' [Evans] 
might be on her bridge, and the spirits of those who 
manned her at Santiago standing at their battle 
stations.'' The sailors on the surrounding ships 
cheered as the shells, fired at a range of from eight 
to ten miles, found the target; and the officers 
watched through their field glasses as the lonely 
ship dodged and twisted as if conscious of her im- 
pending fate. Great water spouts rose where the 
projectiles struck and dashed over the battered ship. 
About four o'clock, when it was evident the Iowa 
could not remain afloat much longer, the Mississippi 
commenced using regular service shells at short 



112 



THE PALIMPSEST 



range. At last a shell smashed the Iowa's wireless 
attachment and the mortally wounded ship heeled 
over and began to sink. 

The echoes of the big guns died away. The cheers 
of the sailors on the watching dreadnoughts were 
hushed ; and, as the Iowa turned over and her smoke- 
stacks disappeared beneath the blue Avaters of the 
Pacific, the band of the Maryland played the Star 
Spangled Banner very slowly. Fifteen thousand 
men of the fleet snapped into salute, while the Secre- 
tary of the Navy and the other civilian spectators 
stood with bared heads. The last bars of the nation- 
al anthem sounded across the waters just as the 
waves closed over the Iowa and at that moment the 
Maryland fired the first of a salute of twenty-one 
guns, the final honor to the old battleship. ^^She 
was a good ship,*' said Admiral Hiliary Jones, as 
he wiped his eyes, *^and that was good shooting.'' 

EuTH A. Gallaher 



The Winter of Eighty-One 



Imagine winter coming on the fifteenth of October 
without any warning — coming to stay too, and ush- 
ered in by a blizzard that lasted two days. North- 
western Iowa has seen much severe weather, but for 
snow fall and unrelenting cold the winter of 1880- 
1881 has had few rivals. A pioneer of O'Brien 
County, Thomas Barry, relates the following story 
of that memorable winter. 

On October 15, 1880, the morning after we finished 
threshing, my wife and I struck off for Sheldon, 
twelve miles away, to get some flour at the mill and 
to do our winter trading. The air was frosty, the 
sun hidden, and the sky looked like a big, gray dome 
settling down over the prairie. From the near-by 
cornfields we could hear the thump, thump of the 
ears against the throw-boards of the buskers' wag- 
ons. There being no native timber, we were denied 
the reds and the golds of woodland October: the 
brown prairie stretched away in every direction 
as far as the eye could see. Out in the stubble the 
prairie chickens called, tumble weeds went hurrying 
on ahead of us, and rabbits bounded away from the 
road as we passed. Young cottonwoods, set around 
the farm yards for windbreaks, had lost their tender 
leaves, so that the straw-thatched barns and un- 
painted houses peeped between the naked branches. 



113 



114 



THE PALIMPSEST 



* ' Lots of birds flying to-day, ' ' my wife remarked, as 
we jogged along, planning our day's program. The 
heavens were filled with wild ducks and geese flying 
swiftly southward. 

To make haste we shopped separately, and so were 
not together when the snow began to fall at two 
o'clock. The air was so warm that we thought the 
storm was only a squall, and completed our prepar- 
ations to return home about five. In the meantime 
the wind had risen. The snow that had already fall- 
en was picked up and driven through the air with 
such terrific force that our horses refused to face 
the gale. Thinking of the children at home we urged 
them on, but they would not budge. Not until then 
did we fully realize that a blizzard was upon us, and 
that we would be forced to remain in town until it 
was over. 

I could hear the wind moan around the rude hotel 
all night. The windows rattled in their loose frames 
so that we could not sleep. **God will care for our 
children,'' murmured my wife, while my thoughts 
strayed also to our unprotected stock, for as yet no 
one was prepared for winter. 

The blizzard raged fiercely that night and all the 
next day, but the second morning dawned calm and 
clear. Equipped with a large scoopshovel, we be- 
gan our homeward trip. After leaving the streets of 
Sheldon, which were somewhat protected by build- 
ings, we hit what we thought ought to be the county 
line. Our horses, rested and headed toward home, 



THE WINTER OF EIGHTY-ONE 115 



were anxious enough to get on, but the low, heavy 
wagon was clumsy in the deep snow. 

Before we had gone very far the horses floundered 
and the wagon stuck in a big drift. For a little while 
I sat there, overcome by the scene surrounding us. 
Our friendly, brown landscape of two days ago was 
transformed into a still, cold, sparkling, white pall 
that stretched to the horizon in every direction. 
Cornfields were entirely submerged, straw piles had 
lost their identity and become mere mounds of snow, 
while the struggling, man-made groves only served 
to catch the drifting snow. I had often seen the 
prairie covered with snow but the feeling of awe and 
reverence for that spectacle, as I sat there not know- 
ing the fate of all dearest to me, held me spellbound. 
My wife felt so too, I think, for instead of urging me 
to begin shoveling out of the drift, she said, ^*My, 
how much I'd give for the folks back East to see this 
sight. ' ' 

As we plowed and shoveled our way on, while the 
sun rose high and then began to descend, our fear 
for those at home became more haunting. Fortun- 
ately, the blizzard was not followed by the usual in- 
tense cold, but nevertheless our fingers were numb 
with cold and our backs ached from the shoveling. 
Our team became more and more exhausted with the 
heavy pulling and lack of food. 

Finally, as the sun was sending its last red darts 
over the white prairie, we came in sight of our place. 
We knew it was our home not by any familiar ob- 



116 



THE PALIMPSEST 



ject, but by its position from the road. Nothing was 
to be seen bnt the tops of our tallest trees. Every- 
thing was as still as death, lying under that heavy 
blanket of snow. In the middle of the yard there was 
a drift as high as the house. It was the work of only 
a few minutes to round that drift and reach the door. 
Inside we found the children all safe, but crying bit- 
terly because they were sure we must be dead. 

Our oldest boy, a lad of eleven, had kept the little 
sisters comfortable. When the blizzard began he 
had cut the tethers of the cattle that were tied in an 
open shed, and let them forage with the rest. Under 
a mound of snow, from which arose a tiny line of 
steam, we found all our pigs — about forty in num- 
ber. Only two were dead. Chickens and turkeys 
went under straw stacks and stayed in holes rooted 
out by the hogs. 

The day after we got home I walked to a German 
neighbor's house a mile away to inquire about my 
calves. He had seen nothing of mine but had lost 
two cows. ^' Don't valk no more, Tom; dey go 
dead," he said. Another neighbor who came to my 
house to borrow flour had seen my calves going with 
the storm, and I finally found them all safe, near a 
row of young willows, their backs humped up and 
their heads stuck in the snow. 

Nearly all my stock was saved, but I had no feed. 
What corn we had husked before the blizzard I 
stored in the loft of my dwelling for seed. My boy 
and I gathered a little in sacks for the cattle, but the 



THE WINTER OF EIGHTY-ONE 117 



snow kept piling up so high that at last we had to 
abandon the fields. Then I fed oats. It snowed 
about twice a week all winter. 

A mover who was going from 'Brien County into 
Sioux stopped to feed himself and team. He had 
husked most of his corn, and had no stock. Since 
the snow had become so deep, it was difficult for his 
horses to pull big loads, so in order to make better 
time he stored some of his corn in my empty crib. 

As the winter wore on, my oats ran out. Only my 
seed corn remained and it would not go far. The 
pigs squealed with hunger. ''Save that seed corn,'' 
said my wife, ''feed them the corn from the crib and 
when the owner comes back give him the pigs, but 
don't let them starve. ' ' I went then and fed another 
man's corn to my hogs. 

During that terrible snow-bound winter we had no 
wood or coal for fuel. But the prairie slew came to 
our rescue. Early in the fall we had stacked some 
slew grass in the yard, and this, twisted tightly, 
served for fuel the entire winter. It required a good 
deal of time and energy to twist enough prairie hay 
to keep us warm, even for a day. Children soon 
learned the art and worked faithfully at the irksome 
task. It was a common sight to see piles of twisted 
grass near the doors of prairie homes. 

My children, usually healthy, took sick in mid-win- 
ter with a high fever. When our home remedies 
failed I walked seven miles to Hospers with butter 
and eggs to exchange for medicine — we had no 



118 



THE PALIMPSEST 



money. I struck off in the morning through the 
snow. Spurred on by anxiety for the children, I was 
utterly exhausted when I reached the store. The 
storekeeper — who was druggist too — allowed me 
four cents a dozen for the eggs and four cents a 
pound for the butter. He tried to jolly me, saying 
that I must be out of tobacco to walk so far, but I 
told him the symptoms of the sick children, secured 
some medicine, and started for home just as it was 
beginning to snow. 

For an hour I trudged along. Thicker and thicker 
came the blinding snow. I could not see. The tall 
grass which stuck up through the snow was my only 
guide. The dog that was with me seemed bewild- 
ered, following so closely he impeded my progress. 
I became numb with cold as the flying snow sifted 
into my clothes. After a time I gave up trying to 
find landmarks and depended upon the mercy of 
God to lead me to some shelter. I kept walking and 
finally, toward morning, struck a grove which for- 
tunately proved to be my own. I threw myself down 
to rest and became so stiff T was scarcely able to 
move for three days. The children were a little 
better, but my wife, who had exhausted her strength 
caring for them and keeping the house warm during 
my absence, became ill. Since no one was able to 
bring in the slew grass, we were forced to carry 
down our seed corn and burn it. 

Those of us whose cattle were spared supplied 
our less fortunate neighbors with milk. The milk, 



THE WINTER OF EIGHTY-ONE 119 



frozen solid even in the house, was thawed enough 
to remove it from the container, then it was wrapped 
in cloth or paper and sent where it was needed. 

Roads were blocked almost all the time. Just as 
soon as a path was broken, fresh snow and wind 
would wipe out the trail. Many a morning I was 
forced to shovel my way out of my dwelling. The 
only time a person ventured from home was for an 
occasional trip, usually on foot, to the nearest town 
or to a neighbor's to borrow or to lend. My wife — 
whose father was a railroad surgeon in Massachu- 
setts — was very proficient in aiding the sick and she 
was often called upon to lend a hand in caring for 
needy neighbors. 

There was only one social function in the county 
that winter so far as I know. Mrs. Bert McMillan, 
near Sheldon, had a rag bee. Three bob sled loads 
attended the party, making a long detour to follow 
a broken trail. About two o 'clock it began snowing ; 
the party immediately broke up ; and the three bobs, 
keeping in a line, set out for home. They got lost 
and about ten o'clock came to Whitmore's place, 
where they spent the night. It was fully a week be- 
fore some of the party reached home. 

Toward evening, on fair days, I often rounded the 
big drift in my yard and reached a clearing to the 
south; then, facing the east, I would gaze over the 
soft, white prairie to where the gray sky closed 
down on our deserted world and wonder what was 
going on back East. I thought of the anxiety of our 



120 



THE PALIMPSEST 



kin, the companionsMp of old friends, and tried to 
imagine what was occupying the minds of politicians 
and legislators while we fought for mere existence. 
How quiet that prairie was: only a slight clicking 
from the frozen twigs of the cottonwoods broke the 
stillness. The wind seemed to be resting, regenerat- 
ing its forces, waiting only for the stimulus of fresh 
snow, when it would again rage mercilessly and, 
after lashing us to shelter, would howl and moan 
while it pelted the snow against our dwellings and 
forced it in through every crevice. 

We marked off each day on our calendar and, like 
everything else, that winter came to an end. Spring- 
sunshine and spring duties met a hearty welcome. 
We crept out from our shelter like the badgers on 
the prairie, shook off our winter coma, greeted dis- 
tant neighbors, and were thankful we survived. 

When the snow melted our roofs went in with the 
weight. The corn which had been left in the fields 
had become soft and sour : neither cattle nor chickens 
would eat it. When my mover returned for his corn 
I told him what had been done with it and offered 
him the pigs. He smiled and said : * * I don 't want any 
of your hogs, but lend me your breaking plow and 
I'll call it square.'' 

Josephine Baeey Donovan 



Tesson's Apple Orchard 



When the first settlers began to filter into south- 
eastern Iowa during the early thirties of the last 
century, they were struck with wonder and amaze- 
ment on finding, in the primeval forests skirting the 
banks of the Mississippi Eiver, evidence of an earl- 
ier habitation of the white man. Near the head of 
the Des Moines Eapids in the Mississippi was an old 
apple orchard. Already the trees had reached ma- 
turity and many of them had fallen into decay; some 
had been toppled over by storms and second growth 
saplings were springing up about their roots. 

Whence came these apple trees ? Whose hand had 
planted and protected them against the encroach- 
ments of the more hardy varieties of native timber 
with which they were promiscuously intermingled? 
It was thought improbable that the Indians, owing 
to their roving and shiftless disposition, had ever 
engaged in horticultural pursuits. Evidently some 
white men must have preceded the early settlers in 
a futile attempt at colonization and permanent set- 
tlement in that locality. 

One hundred and thirty years elapsed between the 
time when Louis Joliet with Father Marquette one 
day in June, 1673, paddled their frail birch-bark 
canoes out of the mouth of the Wisconsin Eiver onto 
the bosom of the mighty Mississippi, with a joy that 

121 



122 



THE PALIMPSEST 



they could not express, and the time when the vast, 
unknown territory west of the Father of "Waters 
came into the possession of the United States through 
the Louisiana Purchase. During this period, while 
Louisiana was under the rule of Spain, three land 
grants were made looking toward the permanent de- 
velopment of small areas within the boundaries of 
the present State of Iowa. 

In 1788 a French-Canadian by the name of Julien 
Dubuque obtained permission from the Fox Indians 
to mine lead in the vicinity of the present city of Du- 
buque. For eight years he worked industriously, 
but realizing that the Indian grant did not fully es- 
tablish his claim to land in the Spanish domain, he 
secured a formal confirmation of his mining rights 
from the Spanish Governor General in 1796, togeth- 
er with the possession of a piece of territory twenty- 
one miles long and nine miles wide along the Miss- 
issippi. Another undertaking was that of Basil 
Giard, a friend of Dubuque, who about 1796 took 
possession of and made improvements upon a strip 
of land a mile and a half wide and extending six 
miles east and west opposite the village of Prairie 
du Chien. The Spanish Lieutenant Governor of 
Upper Louisiana made a concession of this tract to 
Giard in 1800. Upon this old Spanish land grant, 
probably on the site of the Indian trading post Giard 
established, is now located the town of McGregor. 

The third venture in the ownership of Iowa land 
was hazarded by Louis Honore Tesson, the son of a 



TESSON'S APPLE ORCHAED 



123 



Freiicli-Canadian tailor who lived in St. Louis. Like 
so many of his race, Tesson seems to have responded 
to the lure of the wild. He voyaged up and down the 
Mississippi, traded with the Indians, and made the 
acquaintance of other hardy adventurers engaged 
in the same occupation. Perhaps he knew Dubuque 
and Giard, and learned of land grants from them. 
In the course of his travels, Tesson probably spent 
some time at the large Sac Indian village at the 
head of the Des Moines Rapids on the Iowa side. 
Here he seems to have made friends among the In- 
dians for if they did not prevail upon him to come 
and establish a trading post near by, they at least 
were not hostile to the project. 

This site, situated on a beautiful level terrace of 
second bottom land, fertile and picturesque, prob- 
ably appealed to Tesson. A high prominence at the 
rear afforded a magnificent view of the river for 
miles in either direction, while below was an excel- 
lent landing for boats. Being about midway be- 
tween the Spanish mines (Dubuque) and the seat of 
government at St. Louis, the place gave abundant 
promise of being a splendid location for a trading 
post, both from the standpoint of the Indians and 
those who plied the river. Moreover, the position at 
the head of the rapids was strategic as the beginning 
or end of a long portage. 

With these considerations in mind, Tesson ap- 
proached the Spanish government where his propos- 
al to establish a trading post was favorably received. 



124 



THE PALIMPSEST 



In the past, Spanish traders had not been particular- 
ly successful in competition with the British, and it 
may have been for this reason that the officials at 
St. Louis were willing to foster any enterprise that 
gave promise of promoting the interests of Spain in 
the New World. On March 30, 1799, Louis Honore 
Tesson received permission from Zenon Trudeau, 
Lieutenant Governor of the province of Upper 
Louisiana, to make a settlement upon 7056 arpents 
of land. According to the terms of this permit, * ^ Mr. 
Louis Honore [Tesson] is permitted to settle" at 
the head of the Des Moines Eapids, **and having 
effected his establishment he will write to the Gov- 
ernor General to obtain the concession of a suitable 
area in order to validate said establishment, and at 
the same time to make him useful in the trade in pel- 
tries in that country, to watch the savages and to 
keep them in the fealty which they owe His Majes- 
ty. ' ' He was also placed under obligations to plant 
trees and sow seeds, to instruct the Indians in the art 
of agriculture, and to spread the tenets of the Cath- 
olic faith. His conduct in these respects was to 
serve him as. a recommendation to be favored by 
the Government in such a way as to let him have the 
benefit of whatever he may do to contribute to the 
increase of the commerce in which he is to partici- 
pate 

In order to secure a clear title to his land through 
confirmation by the Governor General, Tesson set 
about fulfilling the terms of the grant. Having pur- 



TESSON'S APPLE ORCHARD 



125 



chased some supplies in St. Louis, largely on credit, 
and obtained about a hundred seedling apple trees of 
several varieties at St. Charles, he proceeded on his 
northward journey, transporting the small apple 
trees, it is said, on pack mules. His family may have 
accompanied him upon this trip, for it is recorded 
that he married Theresa Creely in 1788 and that a 
son bearing the name of Louis Honore was born in 
St. Louis about 1790. 

Sometime in the summer of 1799 Tesson reached 
the site of his land grant. There he erected build- 
ings, built some fences, cultivated a small patch, and 
planted his apple trees. 

For a number of years he lived at the head of the 
rapids, fraternizing with the Indians, and trading in 
liquor, pelts, and baubles. Life on the very out- 
I skirts of civilization was probably not altogether 
monotonous. Dubuque, Giard, and other itinerant 
traders must have stopped on their way to St. Louis. 
There was plenty of excitement when the ice went 
! out of the river, when the flood waters rose, and 
i when the Indians went on the warpath. Living was 
I easy. The river teemed with delectable fish, while 
game was abundant. Quail, prairie chickens, tur- 
keys, and deer were commonplace. Wild strawber- 
ries, blackberries, and grapes varied the menu — the 
apple trees were probably too young to bear. 

All of the circumstances pertaining to Tesson 's 
undertaking were not so rosy. He seems to have 
been lacking in tact and general business ability. At 



126 



THE PALIMPSEST 



all events lie incurred the enmity of some of the In- 
dians and was no match for the shrewd British 
traders. His trading operations failed, and he fell 
deeper and deeper into debt at St. Louis. After four 
years of patience and forbearance on the part of his 
creditors, all of his property was attached. Accord- 
ing to Spanish law and upon the authority of an 
order from the Lieutenant Governor of Upper 
Louisiana, P. A. Tablaux, acting as attorney for 
Joseph Robidoux, appeared unexpectedly before the 
door of Tesson's house on March 27, 1803, and there, 
accompanied by two witnesses and in the presence of 
Tesson, seized the property and gave notice that it 
would be sold in public at the door of the parish 
church in St. Louis for the benefit of the creditors. 
The auction occurred in customary form at *^the 
conclusion of high mass, the people coming out in 
great number, after due notice given by the public 
crier of the town in a high and intelligible voice, on 
three successive Sundays, May 1, 8, 15, 1803 '\ On 
the first Sunday only *Hwenty-five dollars was bid; 
on the second, thirty dollars; on the third, the last 
adjudication, one hundred dollars ; and subsequently, 
one hundred and fifty dollars by Joseph Eobidoux'^ 
Tesson 's chief creditor. This offer was repeated 
until twelve o 'clock at noon ; and the public retiring, 
the said Robidoux demanded a deed of his bid. It 
was cried at one o 'clock, at two o 'clock, and at three 
o'clock, and no other persons presenting themselves, 
the said land and appurtenances were adjudged to 



TESSON'S APPLE ORCHARD 127 



him for the mentioned price of one hundred and fifty 
dollars, and having to receive this sum himself, he 
gave no security. ' ' 

Eobidoux, finding himself possessed of property 
for which he had no immediate need, permitted Tes- 
son to remain on the tract for some time thereafter. 
It is not known whether Tesson was finally ejected 
from the land, or whether he left of his own accord. 
He was still in the vicinity in 1805 when Lieutenant 
Zebulon M. Pike explored the Mississippi River from 
St. Louis to its source. Pike began the ascent of 
the Des Moines Rapids in the Mississippi on the 
morning of August 20th. After passing the first 
shoal, they met Mr. Ewing who had come to assist in 
negotiating the rapids. He was accompanied by *^a 
French interpreter, four chiefs and 15 men of the 
Sac nation, in their canoes, bearing a flag of the 
United States. The interpreter. Lieutenant Pike 
explained, was Monsieur Louis Tisson", who had 
^'calculated on going with me as my interpreter'', 
and who appeared much disappointed when I told 
him I had no instructions to that effect.'' He also 
promised to discover mines, which no person knew 
but himself ; but, as I conceive him much of a hypo- 
crite, and possessing great gasconism, I am happy 
he was not chosen for my voyage." 

On the death of Joseph Robidoux in 1809, the Tes- 
son land, including all buildings and appurtenances 
thereto, was acquired by Thomas F. Riddick at an 
auction held on April 9, 1810. Riddick paid sixty- 



128 



THE PALIMPSEST 



three dollars for the property — the highest and last 
bid. Nearly thirty years later the legality of this 
transaction was confirmed and Tesson's title ac- 
quired in 1799 was established by the United States 
government when a land patent was issued covering 
six hundred and forty acres of the tract. This was 
the first patent to Iowa land and established a title 
record that dates back to 1799 — the oldest in the 
State. 

From the time when the property passed into the 
hands of Riddick in 1810, the thread of the story is 
lost until eleven years later, when Isaac R. Campbell 
explored the southern portion of the Iowa country 
and later mentioned in his memoirs that at that date 
Chief Cut Nose lived in a village at the head of the 
Des Moines Rapids, near the site of the old estab- 
lishment of Louis Tesson. Below the creek run- 
ning into the river,'' he writes, *^on the lower side of 
the Indian town, were the remains of a deserted trad- 
ing house, around which was growing a number of 
apple trees.'' Tesson himself had dropped from 
sight altogether. At what time he forsook the en- 
virons of his hapless undertaking, where he went, 
what he did, and where he died are unknown facts. 

J. P. Cruikshank says that his father, Alexander 
Cruikshank, visited the old orchard in the summer of 
1832. At that time about fifteen trees were bearing, 
though the fruit was of a very inferior quality. That 
the apples should be poor was not surprising, as it 
was obvious that the trees had been neglected for 
many, many years. 



TESSON'S APPLE ORCHARD 129 



In the year 1834 the original Fort Des Moines was 
established by the United States government on the 
Tesson grant. The buildings of the fort were im- 
mediately adjacent to and north of the old apple 
orchard. At that time there were ^^many traces of a 
former settlement around the camp, the most prom- 
inent of which was the old orchard of apple-trees a 
short distance below. The orchard at that time con- 
tained some ten or fifteen trees in bearing condition. 
The fruit was very ordinary, being a common seed- 
ling. The Indians were in the habit of visiting the 
orchard, and gathering the fruit in its green state ' ^ 
so that none of it ever matured. There were also 
^'remains of dirt, or adobe, chimneys visible in the 
same locality ; which goes to prove that a settlement 
had existed there at some former period. 

During the three years that the old fort was main- 
tained, a number of men illustrious in the history of 
Iowa and the nation were there. The three com- 
panies of United States Dragoons, which constituted 
the garrison, were commanded by Stephen W. 
Kearny, famous western explorer. Albert M. Lea, 
in command of one of the companies that made a 
thousand-mile march across the prairies of Iowa and 
Minnesota in 1835, published the first popular des- 
cription of the Iowa country. Zachary Taylor and 
Jefferson Davis were stationed at Fort Crawford 
at the time Fort Des Moines was established and 
may have visited the dragoons down the river. In 
1837 Lieutenant Eobert Lee, for whom Lee 



130 



THE PALIMPSEST 



County is said to have been named, was sent by the 
War Department to survey the Des Moines Rapids 
of the Mississippi for the purpose of making recom- 
mendations toward the improvement of the navi- 
gation of the river. 

During the same year, 1837, when Fort Des 
Moines was abandoned, the town of Montrose was 
laid out by D. W. Kilbourne on the site of the old 
apple orchard. Unfortunately for Kilbourne, how- 
ever, he failed to secure a perfect title to the land 
before beginning his operations, and the heirs of 
Thomas F. Riddick brought suit against him for pos- 
session. During the trial Kilbourne attempted to 
discredit Tesson and his activities altogether, bring- 
ing as a witness. Red Bird, who claimed that he him- 
self had planted the apple trees and that Tesson was 
an impostor and a * ^ che-wal-is-ki ^ ' (a rascal), who 
had never bought an acre of land. Red Bird's story 
was in part substantiated by Black Hawk but the 
court upheld the Tesson title to the land, giving the 
Riddick heirs possession. The case eventually found 
its way to the Supreme Court of the United States 
which affirmed the decisions of the lower courts. 

As the town of Montrose developed, the Riddick 
heirs disposed of their inheritance to various people. 
The old orchard site at last came into the possession 
of George B. Dennison who, in 1874, conveyed the 
plot to the town of Montrose, to be held in trust for 
the Old Settlers' Association. The intention at that 
time was to erect an ornamental iron fence around 




THE TESSON APPLE ORCHARD SITE 



THIS MAP IS REPRODrCED FROM THE PLAT OF MONTROSE MADE BY D. BALDWIN 
IN 1853 FOR THE HEIRS OF THOMAS F. RIDDICK 



-4 



TESSON'S APPLE ORCHARD 131 



the premises and otherwise improve the appearance 
of the grounds, but these well-meant plans did not 
materialize, and only spasmodic efforts have since 
been made. None of the trees snrvive. The last one, 
according to the memory of the older residents of 
Montrose, died or disappeared nearly half a century 
ago. 

In 1912 J. P. Crnikshank earnestly endeavored to 
rally sufficient interest to save the old orchard site 
from inundation by Lake Cooper, soon to be created 
by the completion of the Keokuk dam. It was impos- 
sible to inspire sufficient enthusiasm in the project, 
however, and during the second week of June, 1913, 
when the flood gates of the great dam were closed, 
the bleak, swirling waters of the Mississippi were 
transformed into a placid lake which slowly envel- 
oped the greater portion of the historic spot. 

Bek Hue Wilson 



Comment by the Editor 



HISTOEICAL MEMOIES 

The facts of local history are usually more elusive 
than the circumstances of great events. Episodes of 
general interest have obvious effects, leave definite 
records, and serve as subjects of written description 
or comment ; while the affairs of every-day life leave 
little specific evidence for the historian. Most 
people attach no significance to the daily routine, 
yet the common customs, foibles, and fancies are the 
substance of the times. Not once in a generation 
does a Samuel Pepys record his rising betimes, his 
very merry dining out, the purchase of a new ^^coat 
of the fashion" which pleased him well, his stint at 
the office — ^^and so early to bed, to-morrow being 
washing day.'* 

In a new, sparsely inhabited country historical 
materials are apt to be scarce. Pioneers have little 
time or inclination to keep diaries. There are few or 
no newspapers to chronicle events ; letters written to 
friends are usually lost or inaccessible; while public 
records are confined to a few subjects such as office 
holding, taxes, and the ownership of land. For these 
reasons the memory of the people who have seen 
and heard is often the only source for the facts of 
local history. 

132 



I 



COMMENT BY THE EDITOR 133 



Reminiscences are sometimes unreliable; but in- 
accuracy is not an inherent characteristic of per- 
sonal memoirs. Recollections can usually be verified, 
and they have the additional merit of vividness and 
first-hand information. It was a simple task, for 
example, to find in the weather reports that the 
winter of 1880-1881 was unusually severe, that the 
snow fall was very heavy, and that the velocity of 
the wind was sixty miles an hour on October 16th — 
the day of the blizzard in northwestern Iowa. 

PKOBABILITY OF TEUTH IN TRADITION 

There is danger of placing too much faith in 
reminiscence, especially if it departs from the field 
of personal observation and invades the realm of 
tradition. Take an account of the disposal of Louis 
Tesson's old Spanish land grant in 1803. It has 
been alleged that the transaction was conducted in 
strict observance of the ancient Civil Law of Rome 
— that a twig of a tree and a clod of the earth were 
actually passed from the hand of the owner to the 
garment of the purchaser, who held up the corner of 
his cloak to receive the evidences of his new posses- 
sions. No one can positively prove that such a per- 
formance did not occur, yet no evidence can be found 
to substantiate the tale. The tradition is possible, 
but highly improbable. 

Some stories of early days, which have not been 
completely confirmed, are not only within the range 
of possibility but are probable as well. The conclu- 



134 



THE PALIMPSEST 



sion that Tesson set out the old apple orchard which 
bears his name is based almost entirely on proba- 
bility. It can not be asserted beyond the shadow of 
a doubt that he actually planted the trees which were 
later found upon his land. No record of that fact 
has yet been found. 

There are at least three other possible explana- 
tions of the origin of the old orchard, none of which, 
however, are as plausible as the Tesson version. It 
is conceivable that the Indians set out the trees ; but 
that is incompatible with Indian character. William 
Ewing, who was stationed across the river by the 
United States government as an Indian sub-agent, 
may have been responsible, for one of his duties was 
to teach the arts of agriculture to the Indians who 
lived at the head of the Des Moines Eapids on the 
Iowa side of the Mississippi. In 1806 Nicolas 
Boilvin was appointed Indian agent with headquar- 
ters at this same Sac village. He also was ordered 
to teach agriculture to the Indians by precept and 
example. ^'You should early procure Garden seeds, 
peach and other fruit stones, and apple seeds", 
advised the Secretary of War. Garden should 
be established for the most useful vegetables, and 
nurseries planted with fruit trees; for the purpose 
of distributing the most useful seeds and trees 
among such of the Chiefs as will take care to culti- 
vate them." 

It is unlikely that either Ewing or Boilvin would 
have located the orchard on the only piece of pri- 



COMMENT BY THE EDITOR 135 



vately owned land in the vicinity. And so, in the 
absence of positive proof to the contrary, the most 
probable explanation may still be accepted and the 
credit for the first horticultural endeavor in Iowa 
may still be ascribed to Louis Tesson. 

WHO WAS TESSOK 

If events are sometimes difficult to ascertain, how 
much more frequently are the names and identity of 
people lost to subsequent generations. Rare indeed 
is the man who can name his eight great grand- 
parents. Of the millions who have lived and died 
only a few are known to the world. 

Who was this Louis Honore Tesson, whose sur- 
name is spelled in various ways and appears as 
Honore ahnost as often as Tesson? For a few years 
he came upon the stage of Iowa history as a con- 
spicuous land owner, associated with merchants and 
public officials, and then made his exit. No one 
cared whence he came, and no one knows where he 
went. He was only a minor actor in one of the 
scenes of the tremendous drama of the Great Valley. 

Elliott Coues says that three Tessons lived in the 
Mississippi Valley in 1805. Louis Tesson Honore 
1st, b. Canada, 1734, d. St. Louis, 1807, aged 73; 
married Magdalena Peterson, b. 1739, d. St. Louis, 
1812. The family came to St. Louis from Kaskaskia. 
Among 8 children was — Louis Tesson Honore 2d, 
eldest son; he married (1) Marie Duchouquette, (2) 
Theresa Creely, in 1788 ; by the latter he had Louis 



136 



THE PALIMPSEST 



Tesson Honore 3d, b. St. Louis about 1790 ; married 
Amaranthe Dumoulin; d. there Aug. 20th, 1827.'* 
Since the days of Pike and the fur traders, the 

Tessons have passed into the obscurity of conunon- 
alty whence they came. The later history of Iowa 
affords only occasional glimpses of men bearing the 
name of Tesson, and there is no assurance that they 
are related to the owner of the old Spanish land 
grant in Lee County. 

When the Indians ceded the Half-breed Tract to 
the United States in 1824, a Louis Tesson witnessed 
the signing of the treaty. The names of Michael, 
Francis, and Edward Tesson appear in subsequent 
records of the Half-breed Tract. For many years a 
Joseph Tesson, born in Iowa in 1841 of part French 
parentage, resided with the Meskwaki Indians near 
Tama and served in the capacity of tribal inter- 
preter. No doubt there are others, and hither and 
yon the descendants of Louis Tesson are living 
to-day though perchance they have never heard of 
their forefather who lived in Iowa under the reign 
of King Charles IV of Spain. 

J. E. B. 




CONTENTS 



The First Itiwa Field Day 137 ) 

-fiRycE E. Mahan^ 

The Capital on Wheels 151 

J. ATSwrsMMi 

Comment 170 

The Editor 



Published Moothd^At Iowa to" By 

Ihe State HhoBS SooeiyofIowa 




ENTERED AS SECOND CLASS MATTER JULY 28 1920 AT THE POST OFFICE AT IOWA CITY IOWA 
UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 24 1912 



THE PURPOSE OF THIS MAGAZINE 

The Palimpsest, issued monthly by the State His- 
torical Society of Iowa, is devoted to the dissemina- 
tion of Iowa History. Supplementing the other pub- 
lications of this Society, it aims to present the materials 
of Iowa History in a form that is attractive and a style 
that is popular in the best sense — to the end that the 
story of our Commonwealth may be more widely read 
and cherished. 

BENJ. F. Shambaugh 

Superintendeni 



THE MEANING OF PALIMPSESTS 

In early times palimpsests were parchments or other 
materials from which one or more writings had been 
erased to give room for later records. But the eras- 
ures were not always complete; and so it became the 
fascinating task of scholars not only to translate the 
later records but also to reconstruct the original writ- 
ings by deciphering the dim fragments of letters partly 
erased and partly covered by subsequent texts. 

The history of Iowa may be likened to a palimpsest 
which holds the records of successive generations. To 
decipher these records of the past, reconstruct them, 
and tell the stories which they contain is the task of 
those who write history. 



PRICE — lOc per copy: $1 per year: free to members of Society 
ADDRESS— The State Historical Society Iowa City Iowa 



The Palimpsest 

EDITED BY JOHN ELY BRIGGS 
Vol. IV ISSUED in May 1923 No. 5 

COPYRIGHT 1923 BY THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF IOWA 

The First Iowa Field Day 

At this time of the year college athletes in Iowa 
are sprinting, hurdling, jumping, pole vaulting, 
throwing the discus, hurling the javelin, and putting 
the shot, but thirty-three years ago track and field 
meets were practically unknown. John V. Crum, 
who first taught the East that natives of Iowa were 
as fleet-footed as any in the tidewater region, did not 
enter the University until the autumn of 1890. To 
be sure, track athletics had been introduced in some 
Iowa colleges by professors from eastern institu- 
tions, but not until late in the eighties was there any 
general interest in racing, jumping, and weight 
throwing. The first Iowa 'Afield day" occurred in 
June, 1890 — the direct forerunner of the present 
Annual Track and Field Meet of the Iowa Collegiate 
Athletic Association. 

The beginning of track and field athletics at the 
State University of Iowa was repeated, doubtless, 



137 



138 



THE PALIMPSEST 



with different characters and different settings at 
other Hawkeye colleges. Some of the circumstances 
connected with the first field meet at the University, 
however, were unique and still cause a chuckle when 
recalled by those who witnessed the event. In the 
autumn of 1889 William P. Slattery and his cousin, 
Jeremiah Slattery, Irish lads from Dublin and neph- 
ews of Archbishop John Hennessy of Dubuque, en- 
tered the College of Medicine at Iowa City. They 
had been students for two years at Blackrock Col- 
lege, Dublin, where they had participated in track 
and field sports and had acquired considerable skill 
in several events. It was not long before they be- 
came popular at the University and awakened much 
interest and enthusiasm in athletics as they recount- 
ed their experiences at Blackrock and told of the 
'^contists for pints'' in which they had engaged. 

During the winter of 1889-1890 the desire for a 
State athletic association which would bring to- 
gether all of the best athletes in Iowa colleges at a 
State meet in the spring began to assume definite 
form. The Slatterys were eloquent in their support 
of the project. Accordingly, in February, 1890, en- 
thusiastic students of the University elected Robert 
Bonson, F. G. Pierce, and T. P. Findley to represent 
them in a meeting at Mt. Pleasant where the details 
of the proposed association were to be agreed upon 
by representatives of the various Iowa colleges. 
Fourteen schools were represented and the organ- 
ization was perfected. A name, tlio Inter-Collegiate 



THE FIRST IOWA FIELD DAY 



139 



Athletic Association (1. C. A. A.), was chosen, a con- 
stitution was adopted, and Grinnell was selected as 
the place to hold the first State field meet sometime 
during the following June. B. L. Osgood of Iowa 
Wesleyan was elected president ; F. G. Pierce of the 
State University, vice-president ; and C. W. Gorham 
of Cornell, secretary and treasurer ; while the execu- 
tive committee was composed of A. C. Savage of 
Iowa College (Grinnell), T. P. Findley of the Uni- 
versity, and C. W. Gorham of Cornell. It became 
the duty of this committee to arrange the program, 
to buy medals for the winners, to fix the exact date 
for the meet, and to levy a tax on the members of 
the association to pay necessary expenses. 

News of the organization of the State athletic asso- 
ciation awakened new enthusiasm at the University 
of Iowa. As soon as the weather permitted, mem- 
bers of the local athletic association began intensive 
training to compete with the athletes of the other 
colleges of the State. The two Slatterys explained 
to their associates how to start in the sprints, how 
to put the shot, how to pole vault, and how to high 
jump in the approved fashion of the day. One mem- 
ber of the squad, now a prominent lawyer, said, 
* * The Slatterys told iis what to do and how to do it. 
They showed us the first pair of running shoes we 
ever saw, and back of the Old Capitol they led us in 
our workouts. ' ' 

To arouse still more interest in athletics, a mass 
meeting was held in the chapel room one afternoon 



140 



THE PALIMPSEST 



in April at which President Charles A. SchaefPer 
presided. He called upon several professors to 
speak who, according to a local reporter, showed an 
unusual knowledge of athletics in general and of- 
fered many valuable pointers to the members of the 
association. Plans developed for a local field day in 
May — the first event of its kind at the State Uni- 
versity of Iowa. This contest, it was thought, would 
serve a two-fold purpose : it would stimulate greater 
interest in athletics at Iowa City, and it would offer 
an opportunity to select a team to represent the 
University at the State meet in June. 

Saturday, May 10, 1890, was selected as the date 
for the local meet. Approximately twenty-five men 
began daily practice, some of them at Englert's Ball 
Park near the present location of Iowa Field, others 
at the fair-grounds east of the city, and a few back of 
the Old Capitol on the campus. The college news- 
paper. The Vidette-Reporter , was moved to remark: 
*^With such an interest we cannot fail to do a grand 
work, in which we have the hearty endorsement of 
the Faculty and Board of Regents.'' The sporting 
editor announced that athletes *^must now refrain 
from eating ice cream. Too bad, ladies.'' Nor did 
he hesitate to assume the role of trainer and to pub- 
lish the following advice: ^^To The Athlete: — Eat 
rare meat, eggs and graham bread. Little tea, no 
coffee, no milk, no hot bread, rice or pastry. Fruit 
is not hurtful. Drink no water between meals ; use 
lemon juice to quench thirst. ' ' 



THE FIRST IOWA FIELD DAY 



141 



Preparations to make the first field day at S. U. 1. 
a gala event continued. Business men of Iowa City 
donated money to purchase silver medals for the 
winner of first place in each event, and a local 
clothing store offered a fine silk umbrella as a spe- 
cial prize for the field champion. An all-day pro- 
gram was planned, with tennis matches beginning at 
nine o'clock in the forenoon, while in the afternoon 
there were to be twenty-two field and track events. 
The meet was to be held at Englert's Ball Park, a 
triangular field enclosed by high board fences on 
two sides and bounded by the Iowa Eiver on the 
third. Twenty-five cents admitted the spectator to 
the entire program, while an admission price of 
thirty cents carried with it the privilege of sitting in 
the little grand stand. Miss Elizabeth Schaeffer, the 
daughter of the President of the University, a hand- 
some young lady who was extremely popular with 
the student body, was selected to award the medals 
and to distribute the prizes at the close of the meet. 

A cold rain the night before the gala day caused 
much anxious observation of weather conditions, but 
Saturday morning, May 10th, dawned clear and cool, 
and the local reporter declared that the hearts of the 
athletes ^^were made exceeding glad." 

The tennis contests of the forenoon drew only a 
fair-sized crowd, but in the afternoon the little grand 
stand was filled and a large number of students and 
townspeople lined the side of the park. Loud cheers 
greeted the athletes as they marched onto the field. 



142 



THE PALIMPSEST 



All of the contestants except the two Slatterys be- 
gan to remove their collars and ties and to roll np 
their sleeves and trousers, but each of the Irish lads 
threw aside the blanket in which he was wrapped 
and stood forth arrayed in a regulation track suit. 
The ladies present gasped in shocked surprise. 

A four-page program had been placed in the hands 
of the spectators. The front page proclaimed the 
^ * FiEST Annual Field Day or the State University 
OF Iowa Athletic Association'' while below was 
printed a list of the officers of the association, the 
names of the field day committee, field officers, 
judges, starter, time keepers, measurers, and scor- 
ers. On the two inside pages were listed the twenty- 
two events and the names of the entrants in each. A 
space was provided where the spectator might write 
the name of the winner of first and second place and 
the record made in each event. The following infor- 
mation also appeared at the bottom of the third 
page : * ^ The winner in each single event gets 2 points, 
the 2d man a point. The man scoring the greatest 
number of points will be declared field champion.'' 

Lieutenant Gr. W. Read, head of the military de- 
partment and during the World War a major gen- 
eral commanding the Second Army Corps in France, 
was master of ceremonies. The first event was a 
race between the classes of 1890, 1891, 1892, and 
1893. Judges and starters took their stations and 
the meet began. Amid loud applause from the 
seniors the representative of the class of 1890 



THE FIRST IOWA FIELD DAY 143 



breasted the tape, followed by the runner for the 
class of 1893. The time was 12% seconds. 

Enthusiasm reigned. Throughout the afternoon 
the contestants were heartily cheered, and time after 
time the field echoed with the yell: ^*Hi! Hi! Hi! 
S. U. L! Giddy, giddy, uni, S. U. I.!'' The two 
Slatterys entered nearly every event and each suc- 
ceeded in winning a large number of points. Jerry 
won the football kick by booting the pigskin a dis- 
tance of 167 feet, he cleared the bar in the pole vault 
at the height of 7 feet and 7 inches which was high 
enough to win, took first place in the running broad 
jump with a leap of 19 feet and 3% inches, and won 
the hop, step, and jump with a record of 38 feet and 
j 8 inches. Moreover, he placed second in the fifty 
yard dash, the one hundred yard dash, the two hun- 
I dred and twenty yard ^^run'', the standing high 
i jump, and the hammer throw. Meanwhile, his 
i cousin William won the four hundred and forty yard 
;l race in 68 seconds, an event which the reporter de- 
scribed as ^^the prettiest and closest race of the 
afternoon and elicited prolonged applause and 
toots." He also made a running high jump of 61 
inches and ran the one hundred and twenty yard 
: hurdle race in 221/5 seconds — winning both events. 
Second place in the running broad jump gave him a 
total of seven points while his cousin, Jerry, with a 
total of thirteen points was the undisputed cham- 
pion of the day. 
Eobert Bonson threw the baseball 284 feet and 6 

I 



144 



THE PALIMPSEST 



inches. T. P. Findley won first place in the fifty- 
yard dash, the one hundred yard dash, and the two 
hundred and twenty yard run. F. A. Hastings made 
a standing broad jump of 11 feet and 3% inches and 
a standing high jump of 51 inches. G. H. Clark put 
the sixteen pound shot 35 feet and 9 inches, and J. H. 
Stotts threw the hammer 102 feet. Lack of time 
made it necessary to omit the three-legged race, the 
flag race, and the tug of war, but the boxing exhibi- 
tion between E. R. Lewis and James Mara afforded 
much amusement and received loud applause. Lewis 
won the decision. 

Late in the afternoon the winners of first and sec- 
ond places lined up to pass before Miss Schaeffer to 
receive their medals. Jerry Slattery, the field cham- 
pion, headed the procession, and an eye-witness 
testified that, as the young Irishman in his track 
suit stepped before the young lady to receive the 
silk umbrella and the medals he had won, the peaches 
and cream complexion of the donor changed to 
flaming scarlet. 

Although no wonderful records were made that 
afternoon, the marks established were none the less 
commendable in view of the fact that the young fel- 
lows who participated were for the most part un- 
trained in track work. Probably the creation of a 
genuine interest in this form of athletics was the 
most noteworthy result of the first field day at the 
State University of Iowa. 

During the following weeks attention was focused 



THE FIRST IOWA FIELD DAY 



145 



upon the State meet. The News Letter of Grinnell, 
which had been the official mouthpiece of the I. C. 
A. A., urged the attendance of large delegations 
from other colleges, and the promise that ice cream 
and strawberries would be served to all visitors was 
regarded as an additional inducement. Students at 
the University petitioned the faculty for a holiday 
and the request was granted. Strenuous workouts 
daily helped to develop the Iowa squad into a well 
balanced team. The Slatterys argued long and 
ardently on the propriety of the entire team wearing 
track suits at the meet, and finally won their point. 

On the morning of June 6, 1890, the Iowa team of 
nearly twenty members, accompanied by a berib- 
boned delegation of one hundred and seventy -five 
rooters, boarded the train bound for Grinnell to wit- 
ness the First Annual Field Day of the Inter-Col- 
legiate Athletic Association. The University crowd 
was the largest delegation from anywhere outside of 
I Grinnell, and the News Letter acknowledged that it 
i **had more lung power than all the other colleges 
i put together." 

j An all-day program had been arranged, the tennis 
I matches beginning at ten o'clock in the morning on 
\ the campus, the field and track events starting at 
two in the afternoon at the fair-grounds, and in the 
evening there was to be boxing, saber swinging, and 
j fencing at the opera house. For officials the execu- 
tive committee had selected C. W. Gorham of Cor- 
nell, chief marshal of the day; A. C. Savage of 



146 



THE PALIMPSEST 



Grinnell, day superintendent; T. P. Findley of the 
University, evening superintendent ; Professor A. K. 
Jones of Cedar Rapids, referee; Lieutenant G. W. 
Read of the University, caller; Ed. Svoboda of Ce- J 
dar Rapids, starter ; and Robert Bonson of the Uni- 
versity, E. A. Marsh of Grinnell, and C. A. Torrey 
of Cornell, timers. 

Cornell won the tennis doubles and Grinnell the 
singles for men, but Miss Nellie Cox captured the 
tennis singles for women and thereby won a first for 
S. U. L I 

Early in the afternoon a large crowd invaded the 
fair-grounds before the committee had provided for 
the collection of admission. As one reporter put it, 
the Association lost several dollars through this 

soupy*' oversight. ||| 

Probably the most hotly contested race of the 
afternoon was the half mile run. C. P. Chase of 
Iowa led almost the entire distance only to see J. 
Mcllrath of Grinnell win by a spectacular spurt at 
the finish. In the pole vault J. F. Reed of Grinnell 
and Jerry Slattery of Iowa were tied at 8 feet and 
11 inches. Reed then cleared the bar at 8 feet and 
11% inches but Slattery in attempting 9 feet fell and 
broke his hand. In the hurdle race W. P. Slattery ; 
breasted the tape ^^in the remarkable time of 18% ] 
seconds", but J. F. Reed of Grinnell was declared 
victor because Slattery had touched a hurdle.*' 
T. P. Findley of Iowa won the fifty yard dash, the 
seventy-five yard dash, and the one hundred yard I 



THE FIRST IOWA FIELD DAY 147 



dash in thrilling fashion, and carried off the gold 
medal offered by the News Letter to the individual 
champion. 

The three-legged race, rnn for Iowa by T. P. Find- 
ley and W. P. Slattery and for Grinnell by W. J. 
Barrette and W. E. Davis, was close, but owing to 
faults on both sides the judges ordered it to be run 
again. This Barrette and Davis refused to do and 
the race was forfeited to Iowa. On the other hand 
the Iowa tug of war team failed to materialize and 
this event was forfeited to Grrinnell. At the close of 
the afternoon Iowa led Grinnell, the closest compet- 
itor, by a few points. 

SUMMAEY OF E VENTS 

Baseball throw — W. Zmunt (Ames), first; E. Bon- 
son (Iowa), second. Distance, 362 feet, 9 inches. 

Fifty yard dash — T. P. Findley (Iowa), first; 0. C. 
Langley (Cornell), second. Time, 5% seconds. 

Football place kick — J. Slattery (Iowa), first. Dis- 
tance, 187 feet, 2 inches. No second place. 

Eunning broad jump — W. P. Slattery (Iowa), first ; 
C. E. Locke (Cornell), second. Distance, 20 feet, 
10% inches. 

Sixteen pound shot put — G. H. Clark (Iowa), first; 
S. E. Ure (Grinnell), second. Distance, 33 feet, 
5^/4 inches. 

One hundred yard dash — T. P. Findley (Iowa), 
first; C. W. McEldery (Iowa Wesleyan), second. 
Time, 10% seconds. 



148 



THE PALIMPSEST 



Hitch and kick — E. Woodbury (Grinnell), first; C. 
Cathcart (Cornell), second. Height, 8 feet, 2 
inches. 

Eunning high jump — J. Slattery (Iowa), first. 
Height, 5 feet, 3 inches. No second place. 

One hundred and twenty yard hurdle (10 flights) — 
J. F. Reed (Grinnell), first; C. C. Langley (Cor- 
nell), second. No time recorded. 

Hammer throw — W. D. Bailey (Grinnell), first; 
J. H. Stotts (Iowa), second. Distance, 76 feet, 
5 1/2 inches. 

Seventy-five yard dash — T. P. Findley (Iowa), 
first; C. Boardman (Cornell), second. Time, 7% 
seconds. 

Pole vault — J. F. Reed (Grinnell), first; J. Slat- 1 
tery (Iowa), second. Height, 8 feet, liy2 inches. 

Standing broad jump — G. P. Ruggles (Upper 
Iowa), first; F. A. Hastings (Iowa), second. Dis- 
tance, 12 feet, 2% inches. 

Two hundred and twenty yard run — C. W. McEl- 
dery (Iowa Wesleyan), first; A. M. Cowden 
(Grinnell), second. Time, 23% seconds. 

Half mile run — J. Mcllrath (Grinnell), first; C. P. 
Chase (Iowa), second. Time, 2 minutes, 16% 
seconds. 

Tug of war — Awarded to Grinnell. 
Three-legged race — Awarded to Iowa. 

The evening program at the opera house was well 
patronized, but a poor stage placed the contestants 



THE FIRST IOWA FIELD DAY 149 



at a disadvantage. The Cornell heavyweight de- 
cided not to box and so E. R. Lewis and James Mara, 
both of Iowa, sparred three rounds, the former win- 
ning the medal. F. G. Pierce of Iowa and Cobb of 
Cornell competed in a middleweight boxing match 
which Cobb won on points, twenty-fonr to twenty- 
one. Arthur Grorrell of Iowa favored the audience 
with an exhibition of saber swinging, while Julius 
Lischer of Iowa and C. D. Premier of Cornell en- 
gaged in an exhibition of fencing which was won by 
Lischer. The successes of the evening, added to 
those of the forenoon and afternoon, made the State 
University of Iowa clearly the winner of the first 
1. C. A. A. Field Day. The rooters from Iowa City 
were delirious with happiness. 

After the evening program at the opera house the 
visiting delegations were entertained at a reception 
tendered by the Grinnell students in the chapel. An 
orchestra furnished music, a male quartette sang 
several songs, and after the refreshments of straw- 
berries and ice cream had banished any hard feel- 
ings that may have lingered from the stiff competi- 
tion of the day, the remainder of the time was spent 
in convivial good-fellowship. 

Nearly thirty-three years have elapsed since the 
first State meet of the Inter-Collegiate Athletic As- 
sociation. All of the records established in 1890 
have been broken, but even so the time made by 
Findley in the dashes and the distance of the broad 
jump compare favorably with the performances in 



150 



THE PALIMPSEST 



those events to-day. No football kick or baseball 
throw, no hitch and kick or hop, step, and jump 
appear on the program nowadays, and it is no longer 
customary to serve the visiting athletes with straw- 
berries and ice cream. Other events, unknown to 
the pioneer field and track stars, have appeared. 
The javelin throw, the discus throw, the mile and the 
two mile runs, and the relay races have replaced the 
three-legged race and the tug of war. 

Many of the men who participated in the first 
annual field day of the I. C. A. A. have won distinc- 
tion in their chosen professions. They include 
among their number lawyers, judges, doctors, and 
educators of national reputation. Jerry Slattery, 
the hero of the first meet in Iowa City and spectac- 
ular performer at Grinnell, became a surgeon in 
Chicago. At the beginning of the Boer War, he en- 
listed in a regiment of Irish volunteers and was 
killed in action in South Africa, fighting his tradi- 
tional enemy, the British, with the same dash that 
had made him a favorite on the cinder path. 

To the athletes from the colleges of Iowa who 
struggled for mastery on field and track at Grinnell 
in 1890 belongs the credit for inaugurating one of 
the most important institutions in the athletic his- 
tory of Iowa. The annual State meet of to-day and 
tomorrow is their monument. 

Bruce E. Mahan 



The Capital on Wheels 



American seats of government, unlike the capitals 
of older countries, have always been migratory. 
Unusual circumstances such as the rapid expansion 
of the public domain, the constantly shifting popula- 
tion, and the democratic demand for centrally 
located political centers have been accountable for 
the instability of capital sites. There are few 
States, especially in the West, whose capitals remain 
where they were first established, while county- 
seat contests'' form a prominent and ever-present 
chapter of local history. Nor has the national cap- 
ital been an exception to the rule. Within fifteen 
years during the formative period of the nation the 
seat of the national government was changed twelve 
times before it was finally established at Wash- 
ington. 

Since 1800 there have been three distinct move- 
ments to relocate the national capital. The first 
attempt was induced by the burning of the Capitol 
by the British in 1814. The second effort, which 
i occurred in 1846, was the result of political and 
sectional interests and differences. The third and 
most formidable movement came after the Civil 
War. This movement originated in the Mississippi 
Valley and almost assumed the proportions of a 
national issue. 



151 



152 



THE PALIMPSEST 



The agitation for the relocation of the national 
capital in 1846 was reflected in the First General 
Assembly of Iowa which convened at Iowa City in 
the fall of that year. Early in the session the ques- 
tion of selecting a new site for the State capital 
came before the Assembly and elicited mnch debate. 
Eepresentative S. B. Olmstead became so obsessed 
with the spirit of capital removal that he introduced 
a joint resolution to move the national seat of gov- 
ernment to the Raccoon Forks of the Des Moines 
River. The motion was tabled indefinitely. 

Numerous citizens of Iowa City and Johnson 
County, who were provoked by the efforts to re- 
locate the State capital, presented a petition beg- 
ging among other novelties, that the General 
Assembly permit the citizens of said county to enjoy 
reasonable health and abundant crops, together with 
other blessings denied them by nature and their own 
energies. In reporting upon this petition the com- 
mittee on agriculture ventured the opinion with an 
air of badinage that when ^^your Committee takes : 
into consideration the growing importance of the i 
country about the Raccoon Forks of the Desmoines j 
river, and compare the same with the District of 
Columbia, they cannot refrain from expressing their 
belief that although our Representatives may not be 
able to remove said Seat of Government * immedi- 
ately,* the day is nevertheless, not far distant, when^ 
this great object will have been accomplished, thusi 
bringing the Seat of the Federal Government inj 

I 



THE CAPITAL ON WHEELS 153 



juxtaposition with your petitioners ; thereby afford- 
ing them a more favorable opportunity to press their 
claims upon that august Body, the Congress of the 
United States/' 

Visionary as this proposal now appears it was not 
without some foundation. A generation later the 
question of removing the national capital to the 
Mississippi Valley commanded the serious attention 
of leading statesmen. A mere catalogue of activ- 
ities in behalf of the scheme to put the capital on 
wheels" presents a formidable aspect. Two na- 
tional conventions were held, a State constitutional 
convention took action, county boards, city councils, 
and State legislatures made bids and offered grants 
of land for the capital, newspaper editors wrote 
columns of editorials on the subject, pamphlets were 
published, a lobby was maintained at Washington, 
and several resolutions were offered in Congress. 

There were several causes for the agitation. The 
remarkable increase of the population of mid-west- 
ern States, particularly Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa, 
; had shifted the center of population of the nation to 
I western Ohio. The experience of the Civil War had 
reminded the people of the unstrategic location of 
Washington as the seat of government. There was 
i also a prevalent opinion that the inhabitants of the 
i District of Columbia were not only averse to honest 
i government but were obstructing the work of polit- 
i ical reconstruction. Moreover, there seemed to be a 
growing realization of the unity of the Mississippi 



154 



THE PALIMPSEST 



Valley: the old slavery line was forgotten in the 
vision of the great valley as the dominant section of 
the nation — the heart of the continent". 

The demand for the removal of the national cap- 
ital to the West reduced to a definite issue found 
expression in the efforts to obtain appropriations 
for extensive improvements in Washington. The 
government had outgrown its habitation. The ques- 
tion in its simplest form was whether new and ex- 
pensive buildings should be erected in Washington 
or at some other more centrally located site. 

The contest began in the second session of the 
Fortieth Congress when Eepresentative H. E. Paine 
of Milwaukee offered a resolution that **the seat of 
government ought to be removed to the Valley of the 
Mississippi." After some facetious debate the 
previous question was ordered and to the astonish- 
ment of the eastern jokers the proposition received 
the support of seventy-seven members of the House, 
while only ninety-seven could be mustered against 
it. Considering that this was the first time a 
proposition for the relocation of the Capital has ever 
been seriously entertained or acted upon, the result 
ought to be accepted as an encouraging one", 
thought the Iowa State Be gist er. William B. Alli- 
son, Grenville M. Dodge, Asahel W. Hubbard, 
William Loughridge, Hiram Price, and James F. 
Wilson — the entire Iowa delegation — voted for 
the resolution. 

Later in 1868 John A. Logan of Illinois, the recog- 



THE CAPITAL ON WHEELS 155 



nized champion of capital removal in Congress, 
introduced a resolution calling for the appointment 
of a committee *Ho inquire into the propriety and 
expediency of removing the seat of the General Gov- 
ernment from said city of Washington to a point 
near the geographical center of the Republic ' \ This 
resolution was vigorously opposed as **a foul slan- 
der ' ' on the people of the District of Columbia, and 
was defeated so decisively that the agitation for 
capital removal was temporarily stilled in the House 
of Eepresentatives. 

The newspaper discussion continued, however, led 
by Joseph Medill, the editor of the Chicago Tribune. 
Eichard Edwards, President of the Hlinois State 
Normal School, urged that the capital be moved to 
Eock Island, **that anomalous tract of 900 acres of 
government land lying in the Mississippi", situated 
in the pathway of the nation and ^*one of the most 
attractive spots in the United States". The Iowa 

I State Register suggested that **the available ten 
miles square might be found in Iowa, somewhere 
near the junction of the main branches of the Des 

I Moines Eiver". 

In September, 1869, a big commercial convention 
was held in Keokuk, Iowa, to boost for river im- 
provement and the development of the resources of 
the Mississippi Valley. It was at this convention 
under the leadership of Samuel Miller, a Justice of 
the United States Supreme Court and a resident of 
Keokuk, that the first bid of the West was made for 



156 



THE PALIMPSEST 



the national capital before a large representative 
gathering. 

Meanwhile, a National Capital Convention had 
been called to meet in St. Louis on October 20, 1869. 
The Governors of all of the States were invited to 
appoint two delegates for each Congressional dis- 
trict and four from the State at large. Twenty-one 
States and Territories responded. To represent 
Iowa Governor Samuel Merrill appointed ex-Gov- 
ernor Ealph P. Lowe, President G. F. Magoun of 
Iowa College (Grinnell), Maturin L. Fisher, and 
A. W. Hubbard from the State at large while the 
twelve district representatives were Augustus C. 
Dodge, James F. Wilson, Samuel J. Kirkwood, J. M. 
Tuttle, Grenville M. Dodge, H. E. Newell, G. M. 
Woodbury, A. H. Hamilton, W. E. Leffingwell, J. G. 
Patterson, Theodore Hawley, and Hiram Price. In 
the opinion of the Chicago Tribune this was ^ ^ one of 
the strongest and ablest delegations ever sent to any 
convention, by any state for any purpose". 

Governor Merrill believed that every considera- 
tion of the fitness of things, convenience, and mili- 
tary safety pointed to the removal of the capital at 
no distant day. He prophesied that within twenty 
years, **and probably forever thereafter, the heart 
of the nation will be not far east of the southeastern 
corner of Iowa. ' ^ The location of the capital in the 
great valley — the center of population, political 
power, industrial achievement, and eventually of 
wealth — would, he thought, strengthen the Union 



THE CAPITAL ON WHEELS 157 



by harmonizing sectional interests and by dispelling 
the feeling that the more distant States and Terri- 
tories were regarded more as dependencies of the 
government than as integral parts of the nation. 

Locate the capital centrally,'' he declared, ^^and 
no matter how extensive the boundaries of the re- 
public, each section would feel that it had an equal 
part in the government, equally participating in its 
benefits, and sharing equally in its responsibilities." 
Even though ^ ^ our republic should be extended over 
the whole continent of North America" the Missis- 
sippi Valley would still be the proper place for a 
central capital. In view of the contemplated reloca- 
tion of the seat of government the Governor believed 
it was '^the clear duty of our representatives in 
Congress to decline to vote for further expenditures 
for the national buildings at the present capital." 

The National Capital Convention met in the Mer- 
cantile Library Hall in St. Louis on the afternoon of 
October 20, 1869. Ealph P. Lowe, chairman of the 
Iowa delegation, was elected temporary chairman of 
the convention. The first day was consumed with 
organization and many speeches, some of which 
bordered on the ridiculous. But in the main the 
speeches were serious and the men were in earnest. 
The chief work of the convention — the adoption of 
resolutions — was accomplished on the second day. 
Resolutions of the Convention 

Whereas, The present site of the national capital was 
selected as the most central point, when the people of this 



158 



THE PALIMPSEST 



republic, only a few millions in numbers, inhabited only a 
narrow strip of country along the Atlantic coast ; and. 

Whereas, The population of this republic has increased 
thirteen fold since then, and spread over a vast continent, 
of which the States in existence when the seat of govern- 
ment was located, form only the eastern edge ; and. 

Whereas, The present location of the national capital is 
notoriously inconvenient in times of peace, as the darkest 
pages of our national history demonstrate, in times of war 
or domestic turbulence is so dangerously exposed as to 
require vast armaments and untold millions of money for 
its special defense; and. 

Whereas, All the reasons which caused the location of 
the seat of government where it now is, have, by the enor- 
mous development of the country, and a corresponding 
change in the wants of the people, become utterly obsolete ; 
therefore, 

1. Resolved, That it is absurd to suppose that the hand- 
ful of inhabitants in 1789, just emerging from colonial 
vassalage, before steamboats, railways, telegraphs, or 
power-presses were dreamed of, or a mile of turnpike or 
canal constructed, possessed the authority or desired to 
exercise the power of fixing the site of the capital forever, 
on the banks of the Potomac, against the will and interests 
of the hundreds of millions who might come after them. 

2. That the people have endured the present illy-located 
capital for three-quarters of a century, patiently waiting 
for the western territory of the Union to be peopled and 
organized into States, and until the center of population, 
area, and wealth could be determined, when a permanent 
place of residence for the government could be selected. 
That time has now come. All sectional issues are settled; 



THE CAPITAL ON WHEELS 159 



all dangerous domestic variances disposed of; a new era 
has been entered upon, and a new departure taken. 

3. That in the language of James Madison, in the Con- 
gress of 1789, ' ' an equal attention to the rights of the com- 
munity, is the basis of republics. If we consider the effects 
of legislative power on the aggregate community, we must 
feel equal inducement to look to the center in order to find 
the proper seat of government." This equal attention has 
not been and cannot be given to the interests and rights of 
the people, so long as the capital is located in an inconveni- 
ent section of the Union. 

4. That the vast and fertile region known as the Mis- 
sissippi Valley, must for all time be the seat of empire of 
this continent, and exert the controlling influence in the 
nation, because it is homogeneous in its interests, and too 
powerful even to permit the outlying States to sever their 
connection with the Union. This vast plain will always be 
the surplus food and fiber-producing portion of the conti- 
nent and the great market for the fine fabrics and tropical 
productions of the other sections of the republic. This 
immense basin must have numerous outlets and channels of 
cheap and swift communication by water and rail with the 
seaboard, for the egress of its products and ingress of its 
exchanges. Therefore, whatever policy the government 
may pursue that tends to multiply, improve, or enlarge 
those arteries of commerce, must result in common advan- 
tage to the whole Union — to the seaboard States equally 
with those of the center. 

5. That the natural, convenient, and inevitable place 
for the capital of the republic is in the heart of this valley, 
where the center of population, wealth, and power is irre- 
sistibly gravitating ; where the government, surrounded by 



160 



THE PALIMPSEST 



numerous millions of brave and Union-loving citizens, 
would be forever safe against foreign foes or sectional sedi- 
tions, and where it would need neither armaments nor 
standing armies for its protection. 

6. That while advocating the removal of the seat of 
government to the Mississippi Valley, we do not mean to 
serve the interests of any particular locality, but that we 
urge Congress to appoint a commission for the purpose of 
selecting a convenient site for the national capital in this 
great valley of the Mississippi, pledging ourselves to be 
satisfied with and to abide by the decision to be arrived at 
by the national legislature. 

7. That in urging the removal of the national capital 
from its present inconvenient, out-of-the-way, and exposed 
location in the far East we are in earnest, and that we shall 
not cease in our efforts until that end is accomplished, 
firmly believing that the absolute necessity for the removal 
will become more apparent every day, and the majority of 
the American people will not long permit their interests 
and convenience to be disregarded. 

8. That the removal of the national capital being only 
a question of time, we emphatically oppose and condemn all 
expenditures of money for enlargement of government 
buildings, and the erection of new ones at the present seat 
of the national Government, as a useless and wanton waste 
of the property of the people. 

The St. Louis convention did not have much influ- 
ence upon public opinion. Very little attention was 
paid to the project. General W. T. Sherman as- 
sured the people of Washington that they could 
calm their fears of losing the capital for he declared 



THE CAPITAL ON WHEELS 161 



that it would take a hundred years to get a removal 
motion through the House of Eepresentatives, an- 
other hundred years to pass the Senate, a hundred 
and one years to agree upon a location, and then 
removal would be delayed fifty years in securing the 
necessary appropriations and erecting the buildings. 

The Thirteenth General Assembly of Iowa con- 
vened on January 10, 1870, and a few days later Mr. 
Lowe made his report of the St. Louis convention to 
the Governor. He stated that ^'a goodly number'' 
of the Iowa delegates had attended the convention, 
had heartily participated in its proceedings,'' and 
had concurred in the resolutions that were adopted 
without a dissenting voice". Nearly all of the 
States of the West and Southwest were represented 
in the convention, he asserted, ^^and their action in 
the premises was marked with wonderful unanimity 
and with that earnestness of conviction which would 
seem to take no denial in the final consummation of 
the measure." He added, significantly, that the 
delegates from Iowa, ^^so far as they lawfully could 
do so, have committed their State to the policy of 
removing the seat of the national government to the 
Mississippi valley — a measure of very great im- 
portance to the people of the West ; and they would 
I rejoice to know that their personal pledges upon the 
[subject, should be supported by the more authorita- 
tive expression of the General Assembly of their 
State in the same direction." 

National capital removal was made the subject of 



162 



THE PALIMPSEST 



a special message by Governor Merrill to the Gen- 
eral Assembly on the last day of January, 1870, and 
he submitted the resolutions of the St. Louis conven- 
tion together with Chairman Lowers report for leg- 
islative consideration. Prior to this, however, on 
January 17th, James D. Wright had offered a reso- 
lution in the Senate proposing to instruct Iowa mem- 
bers of Congress to use their influence against any 
further appropriations for public buildings in 
Washington. This resolution was referred to the 
committee on federal relations which reported a 
substitute three days later that included the addi- 
tional instruction for Iowa Congressmen *^to use all 
honorable means to effect at the earliest practical 
period, a removal of the seat of Government from 
Washington City to some point in the great Valley 
of the Mississippi." 

On January 27th the resolution came before the 
Senate for consideration. Senator Charles Beards- 
ley of Burlington declared that the people in the 
Mississippi Valley had decided *Hhat the National 
Capital ought to be removed; that it will be re- 
moved; and that it is only a question of time as to 
that removal.'' Senator John G. Patterson of 
Charles City emphasized the military advantage of 
having the national capital located in **this beauti- 
ful Valley of the West'' because then *4t would be 
beyond the power of a foreign foe, until they would 
pass through the densely populated States, to the 
very center of our Nation. They could never reach 



THE CAPITAL ON WHEELS 163 



our public archives by sea or railroad, and in this 
Valley they would be protected against the united 
powers of the foreign nations." Among other rea- 
sons for capital removal he mentioned the conveni- 
ence of members of Congress, the cementing of 
national interests, the support of the Southern 
States, and the fact that *'that strong iron band, the 
great Pacific railroad" centered in the Mississippi 
Valley. 

Half in fun Senator William Larrabee proposed 
^'to cede to the United States some portion of our 
territory to assist in accomplishing this removal of 
our National Capital". He thought perhaps Lee 
county would like the privilege of paying off some 
of her bond indebtedness in this manner and have 
the Capital removed to that place, but I suppose 
that our democratic friends would object to having 
Lee county ceded to the United States for that pur- 
pose, though they would be willing no doubt to have 
the Capital located at Keokuk; and in that case I 
would suggest Des Moines county." 

Thereupon Senator Beardsley expressed the hope 
that Senator Larrabee had not intended anything 
personal in his allusion to Lee County. ^^I hope he 
does not intend to convey the idea", said Mr. 
Beardsley, ^Hhat so many of the citizens of Lee 
county are now called upon to go to Washington 
City as Cabinet Ministers, Senators, Judges, mem- 
bers of Congress and Clerks in the various depart- 
ments that it would be a saving of expense to bring 



164 



THE PALIMPSEST 



the capital to Keokuk. I must defend my neighbors 
down there from any such imputation as this/' 

Needless to say the substitute resolution passed 
the Senate almost unanimously. Meanwhile, a joint 
resolution with the following elaborate preamble 
had been introduced in the House by John W. Traer 
and referred to the committee on federal relations, 
of which John A. Kasson was chairman. 

Whereas, The question of the removal and re-location, 
permanently, of the seat of government of the United 
States at some point more in consonance with the views 
and wishes of the people, is now agitating the pubhc mind ; 
and, 

Whereas, The great Mississippi valley lies equi-distant 
from ocean and ocean, draining by her rivers one-half of 
the continent, and capable of floating on their bosom the 
commerce of the entire nation, crossed and re-crossed by the 
great arteries of commerce and travel, competing for the 
trade of the sea-board cities ; and, 41 

Whereas, Her unbounded natural resources, combining 
every element of future greatness, together with her rapid 
comparative increase of population, and the energy and 
intelligence of her people, all point unmistakably to her, in 
no distant future, as the seat of wealth, population, and 
manufactures of the Union. 

On February 5th the Senate resolution, instead of 
the one offered by Mr. Traer, was reported to the 
House with a minor amendment which was readily 
accepted. To the passage of the resolution, how- 
ever, John P. Irish was unalterably opposed. ^'I do 



THE CAPITAL ON WHEELS 165 



not want to make any contest about this resolu- 
tion/' lie said, 'instructing our Senators and Rep- 
resentatives in Congress, but I really do hope this 
resolution will not pass. I am aware that it has be- 
come very fashionable for western men to claim 
that we are entitled to the removal of the National 
Capital into the West. I fear many are using it as 
a sort of buncombe. For my part I am satisfied 
with it just where it is ; where the men who gave it 
to us have located it. I do not think we are gaining 
any thing by it; but we are teaching our people to 
seek after the shadow rather than the substance. If 
we could conceive some measure by which our mem- 
bers in Congress could be emancipated from the in- 
fluence of Eastern ideas about matters of trade and 
commerce, it might be of some importance and use ; 
but I do not believe in this ornamental work of 
instructing them about the Capital. For that reason 
I call for the ayes and noes, for the purpose of re- 
cording my vote against it, if I be the only one in 
the House who does so.'' 

To this William Mills of Dubuque responded that 
a glance at a map of the United States would indi- 
cate to every reflective mind that, **on the same 
principles of prudence and wisdom that characterize 
us in other matters," the location of the national 
capital must soon be changed. ^'When we look at 
counties and States who seek a central position for 
their county seats and Capitals," he said, ''why 
should we apply a different rule in the location of 



166 



THE PALIMPSEST 



our National Capital? Why should the people of 
the West, especially those on the Pacific Slope, be 
obliged to travel away to the District of Columbia, 
merely because our forefathers had selected that 
point? I can see no reason why that should be so, 
only this: that we should continue our location of 
idols where our fathers built them, whether it be far 
from us or not, and whether modern improvements 
require a change or not. If this capital is ever to be 
changed, the true policy is not to increase the ex- 
penditures of money in the District of Columbia. 
It is evident from the public sentiment throughout 
the country, that the people will demand a change 
before long. Now, while I would not be in favor of 
a law restricting them from necessary improve- 
ments, I would be in favor of preventing any perma- 
nent expenditure of the public money. I hope the 
resolution will be adopted.'^ 

M. E. Cutts of Oskaloosa heartily concurred with 
Mr. Irish in wishing that ' ' our representatives may 
be removed from the influence of the politicians of 
the East; and that our legislation may cease to be 
controlled by eastern policy and eastern men'', but 
he thought that ^'one good way of doing that is to 
remove the place of legislation from the East to the 
West and surround the Capital with western men 
and western ideas." 

Mr. Irish suggested that a better method would 
be to remove these unworthy Representatives of 
the West." If Iowa would ^^send men to Congress 



THE CAPITAL ON WHEELS 167 



who have the interests of their constituents at heart, 
no danger can result from any blandishments that 
may surround them. I agree with the gentleman 
from Mahaska partially. Let us seek men who are 
true to the interests of the people they represent, 
and then you need not put your Capital on wheels, 
and bring it out West, when you want Western 
interests served; take it South, when you want 
Southern interests served ; and back East, when you 
want Eastern interests served; and in the coming 
time we will not be harassed by having a peripa- 
tetic Capital 

*^The trouble with the gentleman", replied Mr. 
Cutts, ^4s, that he was not elected to Congress in 
the Fourth District. I sympathize with him heart- 
: ily. Though I differ with him as to the effect that 
that defeat had upon the country, yet I say to him, 
that I would sympathize with him any time." 
I There is something more melancholy, at least to 
the people, than my defeat," retorted Mr. Irish, 
^^and that was the success of the gentleman who 
beat me." 

Here the debate ended. The resolution was 
adopted by a vote of eighty-five to three. The Sen- 
ate concurred in the House amendment and the 
joint resolution was duly approved by the Gov- 
9rnor. 

In the meantime the intrepid John A. Logan had 
Drganized a bloc of seventy-four members of the 
lational House of Representatives who were 



168 



THE PALIMPSEST 



pledged to vote for capital removal. On January 
22, 1870, the House went into Committee of the 
Whole, with George W. McCrary of Iowa in the 
chair, to consider the question. It was on this occa- 
sion that Mr. Logan made his strongest plea for 
putting the national capital ^^on wheels" in a speech 
filling twenty columns in the Congressional Globe. 
Nothing came of it. 

During a debate in the Senate upon the appropri- 
ation of a quarter of a million dollars for the exten- 
sion of the capitol grounds in "Washington, James 
Harlan called for the reading of the resolutions 
adopted by the Iowa legislature on that subject and 
then launched into an argument for capital removal. 
He was eloquently supported by Eichard Yates, but 
when the vote on the appropriation was counted 
only ten Senators cast their ballot against it. James 
Harlan and James B. Howell of Iowa were among 
the dissenters. A vote in the House on a similar 
provision recorded five of the six Iowa Representa- 
tives among the nays. 

The Iowa Republican State Convention which met 
in Des Moines in August, 1870, adopted a resolution 
in favor of removing the national capital to the Mis- 
sissippi Valley and instructing Iowa Congressmen 
*^not to vote one dollar for the erection of any new 
buildings, nor the purchase of any additional 
grounds at Washington City." There was not a 
dissenting vote against the resolution. 

In October, 1870, a second national capital re- 



THE CAPITAL ON WHEELS 169 



moval convention was held in Cincinnati. Again 
Governor Merrill responded by appointing a strong 
delegation of twenty-four prominent men of the 
State, including Ealph P. Lowe, Benjamin F. Gue, 
Charles Beardsley, Samuel J. Kirkwood, George F. 
Magoun, Hoyt Sherman, and M. L. McPherson. 
Only four of them attended the convention, however, 
and the delegations from other States were simi- 
larly depleted. The enthusiasm for capital removal 
seemed to be ebbing. A resolution that further agi- 
tation on the question was ^^mischievous, uncalled 
for, and detrimental to the best interests of the 
nation ' ' lacked only two votes of being adopted. 

In Congress a final stand was made by the advo- 
icates of capital removal during the winter of 1871. 
All of the Iowa Representatives remained steadfast 
in opposition to appropriations for capital improve- 
luent in Washington, but neither Mr. Harlan nor 
Mr. Howell offered any objections in the Senate. 
I The policy of erecting new buildings in Washington 
vas definitely adopted and with that action the agi- 
ation for capital removal subsided. While hope 
ingered for some time in the western mind, and even 
0-day the suggestion of removing the seat of the 
ational go^^ernment to the Mississippi Valley meets 
I favorable response, the ^'scheme to put the capital 
n wheels" has not been seriously advocated since 
he early seventies. 
^ J. A. Swisher 



Comment by the Editor 



THE IMPORTANCE OF SPORT 

Eecreation is as old as the race. Since the first 
sustained effort, relaxation has been essential in the 
life of man. Work requires thought, concentration, 
and reason — the highest mental processes — while 
modern social relations demand more self-restraint 
and repression of natural impulses than ever before 
in the evolution of civilization. The most effective 
relief from the strain of these strenuous times is 
found in various kinds of sport. 

It was ever so. Juvenal's satirical phrase bread 
and games is not paradoxical. Games in a broad 
sense have always held a prominent place in human 
activities. Play is as natural as work. 

Organized sport seems to be concomitant with 
periods of great mental achievement. The Olympic 
games reached their climax in the golden age of 
Greece; the Colosseum and the Circus Maximus 
were imposing monuments to the athletes of Eome | 
in the height of her glory ; while the development of 
sport in America has been contemporaneous with 
the most complex years in the history of this nation. 
Nervous stress may be measured, apparently, in 
terms of recreation. | 

The rise of sport in the United States is a phe-) 

170 I 



COMMENT BY THE EDITOR 171 



aomenon of the last half century. Frederic L. 
Paxson thinks that the passing of the frontier was 
responsible for it. *^The free lands were used up. 
riie cow country rose and fell. The social safety 
valve was screwed down. ' ' There was no explosion 
because a new safety valve in the form of sport was 
iiscovered. Games were substituted for the con- 
][uest of a continent to fulfill the demands of innate 
physical vigor. 

Whatever the causes of the renaissance of sport 
in America, the fact is evident. Wholesale interest 
and participation in organized sport began between 
the years 1876 and 1893. That was the period of 
sore muscles in American history. The widespread 
enthusiasm for games from the time of the centen- 
lial in Philadelphia to the world's fair in Chicago 
las steadily expanded, with the result that the 
)rganization and control of nearly every form of 
iport has become quasi-national. The sporting page 
n the daily press — a form of recognition accorded 
few other activities — is a gauge of public interest 
md perhaps a test of the importance of games. 

Some of the recent changes in national character 
!.nd opinion may be attributed, in part at least, to 
he prevalence and the spirit of sport. Sheer force 
jf public disapproval has driven frauds and quacks 
jrom the advertising pages of reputable journals; 
(loral indifference to shady political and commer- 
ial methods has given way to real concern for 
ublic honesty; and general contempt has forced 



172 



THE PALIMPSEST 



recalcitrant crooks to comply with the rules. The 
emphasis upon clean sport has led to cleaner living. 
And who shall say that the women who took up 
tennis and bicycling did not at the same time make 
a great stride toward real emancipation? 

J. E. B. 



I 




P^pW' Burdette— Humorist 173 



(jjr^shop^r Tijrrief 



"The Editor 



103 



Published Monthly At lowACtnr By 

-IHE State HisrMaf SaciEiYoFlowA 



ENTERED AS SECOND CLASS MATTER JULY 2B 1920 AT THE POST OFFICE AT IOWA CITY IOWA 
UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 24 1912 



THE PURPOSE OF THIS MAGAZINE 

The Palimpsest, issued monthly by the State His- 
torical Society of Iowa, is devoted to the dissemina- 
tion of Iowa History. Supplementing the other pub- 
lications of this Society, it aims to present the materials 
of Iowa History in a form that is attractive and a style 
that is popular in the best sense — to the end that the 
story of our Commonwealth may be more widely read 
and cherished. 

BENJ. F. Shambaugh 

Superintendent 



THE MEANING OF PALIMPSESTS 

In early times palimpsests were parchments or other 
materials from which one or more writings had been 
erased to give rooni for later records. But the eras- 
ures were not always complete; and so it became the 
fascinating task of scholars not only to translate the 
later records but also to reconstruct the original writ- 
ings by deciphering the dim fragments of letters partly 
erased and partly covered by subsequent texts. 

The history of Iowa may be likened to a palimpsest 
which holds the records of successive generations. To 
decipher these records of the past, reconstruct them, 
and tell the stories which they contain is the task of 
those who write history. 



PRICE — 10c per copy: $1 per year: free to members of Society 
ADDRESS— The State Historical Society Iowa City Iowa 



UOBKKT J. UURDETTE 



The Palimpsest 

EDITED BY JOHN ELY BRIGGS 
Vol. IV Issued in June 1923 No. 6 

COPYRIGHT 1923 BY THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF IOWA 

"Bob" Burdetle— Humorist 

There is scarcely a city or even a rural community 
in the United States that does not cherish memories 
of ^^Bob'' Burdette — memories that bring a smile 
to the lips and warmth to the heart. Some people, 
far and near, can still recall, through the mists of 
nearly fifty years, the eagerness with which they 
used to await their copies of the Burlington Hawk- 
Eye which contained his breezy paragraphs. Many 
more there are who remember him as the lecturer 
who broadcast smiles and sunshine from a thousand 
platforms, or, in later years, as the preacher who 
expounded the gospel in terms of good cheer and 
human brotherhood. 

Editor, jester, lecturer, poet, and preacher — 
^'Bob" Burdette trod the primrose path of public 
favor through two generations. James Whitcomb 
Eiley said his success was due to his genius for 
loving." His wife is inclined to emphasize his mag- 



173 



174 



THE PALIMPSEST 



netic personality. Perhaps his habit of doing his 
best in everything he undertook was also partly 
responsible. Whatever the factors may have been, 
few men have earned a finer reputation for whole- 
some humor and steadfast optimism. 

Eobert J. Burdette began his versatile career of 
three score years and ten in Greene County, Penn- 
sylvania, in 1844. It was a county, he used to say, 
*^just large enough for a man to get born in.'' At 
the age of two he began his westward migration, 
accompanied by his parents. ^'I was born in Penn- 
sylvania, weaned in Ohio, kidnapped by Illinois, 
adopted by Iowa, and married to California", he 
summarized the stages in his life. ^*I never, posi- 
tively never, did anything I was ashamed of while I 
remained in my native State. I never swore ; I never 
lied; I never stole anything; I never went to a cir- 
cus ; I never ran away from Sunday School; I didn't 
go out at night; I didn't play billiards nor go to 
horse races. Good boy that I was, I stayed at home 
and entertained the family. No man, I ween, ever 
lived a purer life than I did while I lived in Pennsyl- 
vania. ' ' 

Before coming to Iowa in 1874, where he really 
established his reputation as a humorist, Mr. Bur- 
dette had reached a masterful maturity through the 
wide experience of his varied early life. In 1861, at 
the age of sixteen, he graduated from the Peoria, 
Illinois, high school. His commencement essay, 
which he later said * ^foreshadowed my subsequent 



'^BOB'^ BURDETTE — HUMORIST 175 



career as a statesman", was entitled The Press and 
the Ballot Box''. ^'I have preserved that rather 
remarkable state paper. Would you like to see it? 
For a hundred thousand dollars you may. I some- 
times read it myself. It mitigates the horror of 
approaching death.'' 

On August 4, 1862, just five days after he was 
eighteen, he enlisted in the Forty-seventh Illinois 
Volunteer Infantry. The recruiting officer unenthu- 
siastically pointed to the standard of military height, 
*^a pine stick standing out from the wall in rigid 
uncompromising insistence, five feet three inches 
from the floor." As Burdette walked toward it he 
could see it slide up, until it seemed to lift itself 
seven feet above my ambitious head. If I could have 
kept up the stretching strain I put on every longitu- 
dinal muscle in my body in that minute of fate, I 
would have been as tall as Abraham Lincoln by the 
close of the war. As it was, when I stepped under 
that Ehadamantine rod, I felt my scalplock, which 
was very likely standing on end with apprehension, 
brush lightly against it." He was accepted and 
served to the end of the war. Though he ^^fought 
through more than a score of battles ' ', received hon- 
orable mention for bravery in the siege of Vicks- 
burg, and romped through more than a hundred 
frolics", he never saw the inside of a hospital and 
never lost a day off duty on account of sickness. 

Back from the war he taught school near Peoria 
where the custom was ^^to go to bed at sunset and 

I 



176 



THE PALIMPSEST 



get up some time in the night as though *Hhe sun 
did not know when to start the day". It might be 
true, he thought, that ^^the early bird catched the 
worm, but what consolation is that to the worm" 
Had he stayed in bed later he would not have beei 
caught. ' ' 

After three months of teaching he was employee 
a short time as a clerk in a crockery store, ^^withou 
fatality to dish or human '^ Then for severa 
months he ^^was in the railway service when ther( 
really wasn't any such thing'', working in the capac 
ity of a mail clerk on a short run from Peoria t( 
Logansport, Illinois. 

In 1868 he entered Cooper Institute in New Yorl 
for the purpose of studying art and with the avowee 
intention of painting a great historic painting tha 
was to cover a canvas as big as the side of a barn 
with buckets of paint and a name made famoui 
signed in the corner ' '. But New York did not seen 
to want any great artist", so the young art studen 
earned a scanty living writing visiting cards anc 
sent remarkably vivid letters back home to th^ 
Peoria Transcript. 

New York, he wrote, was a ' ^ delightful old mixed 
up place, where every avenue you take loses itself ii 
a maze of entanglements, where the stranger, afte; 
securing full and definite instructions from a police 
man who can speak English, buttons up his coat an( 
resolutely starts out to somewhere, and after turn 
ing the first two corners as per directions, finds him 



I ' ' BOB ' ' BURDETTE — HUMORIST 177 

self back at the same identical corner and policeman 
he started from; where the streets take a malicious 
delight in leading the wayfarer np against a dead 
wall or out to some wharf; where everything is so 
crooked that were a man to walk rapidly enough he 
could almost see himself going down another street." 

At that time U. S. Grant was very much in the 
public eye, and Burdette tells in a letter of seeing 
"the distinguished smoker'' airing himself on 
Broadway. ^'General Grant left this city today'', 
he wrote. ^^The closeness with which he has been 
watched during his stay, precludes any possibility 
of his having stolen anything. ' ' 

During Burdette 's sojourn in New York he went 
one Sunday evening to hear Henry Ward Beecher 
preach. After reaching Brooklyn", he explained, 
'^you have only to follow the crowds that you see 
converging from all directions to a common center. 
That center is Plymouth Church." Knowing that 
the congregation assembled early he thought he 
would stroll past the edifice so as to be sure of its 
exact location before going there in the evening. 
What was his surprise ^^to discover a crowd of 
nearly two hundred people collected on the sidewalk 
and in the street in front of the closed gates of the 
church yard, standing patiently there in the midst of 
a driving snow storm." Inside the church the 
( *long row of benches around the gallery was densely 
crowded with tourists, interlopers and plebeians 
ong before the pew^s began to fill. I was amazed 

li 



178 



THE PALIMPSEST 



when an energetic usher ordered us to sit closer 
together, and actually got about a dozen more wor- 
shippers seated. Scarcely had we got settled into 
breathing postures again, when the same usher, in- 
exorable as a street car conductor, packed us still 
closer and wedged in another delegation, and there 
we sat, our arms hanging down before us, hands 
solemnly clasped on our knees, jammed and pressed 
so tightly together, wrought into such intimate con- 
tact, that I could almost tell what my neighbor was 
thinking about, and had the usher trod on the corns 
of the man at the end of the seat, I believe all the 
rest of us would have ^hollered.' 

Burdette's New York letters shaped the way to his 
newspaper career. After a thrilling adventure as a 
member of a filibustering expedition to Cuba where 
he, **the smallest man on the boaf , was wounded by 
the Spaniards ^Hhe first time they fired'', he re- 
turned to Peoria in 1869 and took a position as tele- 
graph editor on the Transcript. By the end of the 
year he had become city editor and his wit domi- 
nated the local page. But one day the editor of the 
paper announced that when he wanted anything 
funny in his paper he would write it himself. So 
Mr. Burdette transferred his services, and later his 
capital, to the ill-starred Peoria Eevieiv. When the 
Review went out of business in 1874 about all that 
was left of Burdette 's fortune was his sense of 
humor, a ticket to Burlington, and a contract to join 
the editorial staff of the Burlington Hawh-Eye. 



^^BOB" BURDETTE — HUMORIST 179 



For several years ^^Bob'* Burdette was connected 
with the Hawh-Eyej first as city editor, then as man- 
aging editor, and, after he began lecturing, as special 
correspondent. He found the Hawh-Eye a sedate, 
conservative old newspaper with a short subscrip- 
tion list, and he left it one of the livest, most influen- 
tial papers in Iowa and with readers in every State 
in the Union. The increased circulation was chiefly 
due to Mr. Burdette 's crisp paragraphs touching 
politics and public life, each with its o^\ti whimsical 
coloring ; his shrewd and logical editorials ; and his 
domestic sketches in which his penchant for bur- 
lesque, parody, punning, exaggeration, and ludicrous 
situations was given full play. He came to be known 
far and wide as ^Hhe Burlington Hawk-Eye man". 

Charles Beardsley, the editor-in-chief, believed 
that all printed mirth was unseemly and he chafed 
and fumed at the city editor's stuff. There was 
news enough in town without printing nonsense he 
insisted. But the business office showed him sub- 
scription figures that sent Mr. Beardsley back to his 
wonted editorials. Bob continued to print his genial 
foolery, and all Burlington was happy. What did 
anyone on West Hill care that a big fire was 
covered in a paragraph, so long as there was a col- 
umn recounting the experiences of Mr. Middlerib! 
Nobody missed a full report of the political rally at 
South Hill Square if *Hhe Hawk-Eye man" had 
published the latest adventures of Old Bilderback 
and Master Bilderback. 



180 



THE PALIMPSEST 



Middlerib and the Bilderbacks were creatures of 
Burdette's imagination who bore the brnnt of Hs 
satirical witticisms. They possessed many of the 
habits and foibles to which hnman nature is heir, 
and their traits of character struck the chord of 
common experience. 

^No', said Mr. Bilderback who couldn't find his 
hat, 4t wasn't.' " He had put it there last night 
just before he went to bed and someone had moved 
it. Whereupon the family scattered for the usual 
morning search. **Mrs. Bilderback looked in all the 
closets with the air of John Eogers going to the 
stake, and then she went into an old chest, that had 
the furs and things put away in it, and was opened 
twice a year, except when Mr. Bilderback 's hat was 
lost, which occurred on an average three times a day. 
She shook pepper or fine cut tobacco or camphor out 
of everything she picked up, and varied her search 
by the most extraordinary sneezes that ever issued 
from human throat". Miss Bilderback confined her 
search to the uncut pages of the last Scrihner, 
which she carefully cut and looked into, with an 
eager scrutiny that told how intensely interested she 
was in finding that hat. She never varied her meth- 
od of search, save when the approaching footsteps 
of her father warned her that he was swinging on his 
erratic eccentric in that direction, when she hid the 
magazine, and picking up the corner of the piano 
cover looked under that article with a sweet air ' '. 

Mr. Bilderback himself was a composite system 



' ' BOB ' ' BURDETTE — HUMORIST 181 



of investigation. ^^He raged through the sitting- 
room like a hurricane ; he looked under every chair 
in that room, and then upset them all to see if he 
mightn't possibly have overlooked the hat. Then he 
looked on all the brackets in the parlor, and behind 
the window curtains, and kicked over the ottoman to 
look for a hat that he couldn't have squeezed under a 
wash-tub. And he kept up a running commentary 
all the time, which served no purpose except to warn 
his family when he was coming and give them time 
to prepare. He looked into the clock and left it 
stopped and standing crooked. And he would like 
to know who touched that hat. He looked into his 
daughter's work-box, a sweet little shell that 
^George' gave her, and he emptied it out on the table 
and wondered what such trumpery was for, and who 
in thunder hid his hat. *It must be hid,' he said, 
peering down with a dark, suspicious look into an 
odor bottle somewhat larger than a thimble, ^for it 
couldn't have got so completely out of sight by acci- 
dent. ' If people wouldn't meddle with his things, he 
howled, for the benefit of Mrs. Bilderback, whom he 
heard sneezing as he went past the closet door, he 
would always know just where to find them, because 
(looking gloomily behind the kitchen wood box) he 
always had one place to put all his things (and he 
took off the lid of the spice-box), and kept them 
there. He glared savagely out of the door, in hopes 
of seeing his hopeful son, but that youthful strate- 
gist was out of sight behind his intrenchments. Mr. 



182 



THE PALIMPSEST 



Bilderback wrathfully resumed his search, and 
roared, for his daughter's benefit, that he would 
spend every cent he had intended to lay out for 
winter bonnets, in new hats for himself, and then 
maybe he might be able to find one when he wanted 
it. Then he opened the door of the oven and looked 
darkly in, turned all the clothes out of the wash- 
basket, and strewed them around, wondering ^who 
had hid that hat ? ' And he pulled the clothes-line off 
its nail, and got down on his hands and knees to look 
behind the refrigerator, and wondered *who had hid 
that hat;' and then he climbed on the back of a 
chair to look on the top shelf of the cupboard, and 
sneezed around among old wide-mouthed bottles and 
pungent paper parcels, and wondered in muffled 
wrath *who had hid that haiV And he went down 
into the cellar and roamed around among rows of 
stone jars covered with plates and tied up with 
brown paper, and smelling of pickles and things in 
all stages of progress ; every one of which he looked 
into, and hoAV he did wonder *who had hid that hat.' 
And he looked into dark corners and swore when he 
jammed his head against the corners of swinging 
shelves, and felt along those shelves and run his 
fingers into all sorts of bowls, containing all sorts of 
greasy and sticky stuff, and thumped his head 
against hams hanging from the rafters, at which he 
swore anew, and he peered into and felt around in 
barrels which seemed to have nothing in them but 
cobwebs and nails ; shook boxes which were prolific 



' ' BOB ' ' BURDETTE — HUMORIST 183 



in dust and startling in rats, and he wondered 'who 
had hid that hat?' 

^^And just then loud whoops and shouts came 
from up stairs, announcing that ^here it was.' And 
old Bilderback went up stairs growling, because the 
person who hid it hadn't brought it out before, and 
saw the entire family pointing out into the back 
yard, where the hat surmounted Mr. Bilderback 's 
cane, which was leaning against the fence, 'just 
where you left it, pa,' Miss Bilderback explained, 
'when we called you in to supper, and it has been out 
there all night.' And Mr. Bilderback, evidently re- 
straining, by a violent effort, an intense desire to 
bless his daughter with the cane, remarked with a 
mysterious manner, that 'it was mighty singular,' 
and putting on his hat, he strode away with great 
dignity ; leaving his wife and daughter to re-arrange 
the house." 

Il On another occasion the Middlerib family went on 
I a picnic. "Mr. M. went out and looked at the sky, 
and noted the direction of the wind, and watched the 
movements of the chimney swallows with a critical 
i and scientific eye, and came in and announced that it 
would not rain for five days, and they would have 
the picnic just two days before the rain. And from 
the hour of that announcement the Middlerib family 
and their invited relations did nothing but bake, and 
roast, and stew, and iron clothes, and declare they 
were tired to death and would be glad when it was all 
over and done with." 



184 



THE PALIMPSEST 



On the morning of the picnic the sky was overcast 
and the sun had ^^a terribly wild and dissipated 
look^' which was not encouraging. There is no 
scene in all this wide world of pathos more pathetic 
than a group of anxious mortals, on the morn of a 
picnic, trying to delude each other into the belief 
that when the sky is covered with heavy black 
clouds, 800 feet thick, and a damp scud is driving 
through the air, and the sun is only half visible occa- 
sionally through a thin cloud that is waiting to be 
patched up to the standard thickness and density, it 
is going to be a very fine day indeed. So the Middle- 
ribs looked at the coppery old sun, and the dismal 
clouds, and tried to look cheerful, and said encour- 
agingly that ^Oh, it never rained when the clouds 
came up that way;' and, ^See, it is all clear over 
in the east;' and, ^It often rains very heavily in 
town when there doesn't a drop of water fall at 
Prospect Hill.' And thus, with many encouraging 
remarks of similar import, they awaited the gather- 
ing of the party, and the human beings finally 
climbed into one wagon, put the baskets and the boys 
in the other, and drove away, giggling and howling 
with well dissembled glee. 

^^The happy party, although they well knew that 
it would not rain, had taken the precaution neverthe- 
less to take a large assortment of shawls and um- 
brellas. They were a quarter of a mile from town 
when it began to thunder some, but as it didn't 
thunder in the direction of Prospect Hill, distant 



'^BOB'' BURDETTE — HUMORIST 185 



some three miles, they went on, confident that it 
wasn't raining, and wouldn't, and couldn't rain at 
Prospect Hill. They were half a mile from town 
when the cloud that all the rest of the clouds had 
been waiting for came up and remorselessly sat 
down on the last, solitary lingering patch of blue 
that broke the monotony of the leaden sky, but the 
party pressed on, confident that they would find 
blue sky when they got to Prospect Hill. They were 
a mile from town when old Aquarius pulled the bot- 
tom out of the rain wagon and began the entertain- 
ment. It was a grand success. The curtain hadn't 
been up ten minutes before all the standing room in 
the house was taken up and the box office was closed. 
The Middlerib party having gone early, and secured 
front seats, were able to see everything. They ex- 
pressed their pleasure by loud shrieks, and howls, 
and wails. They tore umbrellas, that had been fur- 
tively placed in the wagon, out of their lurking 
places, and shot them up with such abruptness that 
the hats in the wagon were knocked out into the road„ 
Then the wagon stopped and people crawled out and 
waded around after hats, and came piling back into 
the wagon, with their feet loaded with mud. The 
umbrellas got into each other's way, and from the 
points of the ribs streams of dirty water trickled 
down shuddering backs, and stained immaculate 
dresses, and took the independence out of glossy 
shirt fronts. And the picnic party turned home- 
ward, but still the Middleribs did not lose heart. 



186 



THE PALIMPSEST 



They smiled through their tears, and Miss Middle- 
rib, beautiful in her grief, still advocated going on 
and having the picnic in a barn, and wept when they 
refused her. It rained harder every rod of the way 
back. 

^'Then the clouds broke, and then sun came out, 
and smiling nature stood around looking as pleasant 
as though it had never played a mean trick on a 
happy picnic party in its life; and the Middleribs 
hung themselves out in the sun to dry, and tried to 
play croquet in the wet grass, and kept up their 
spirits as well as they knew how, and were not cross 
if they did get wet. If smiling nature had only given 
them a show, or even half a chance, they would have 
got along all right. They were bound to have the 
picnic party anyhow, so they kept all the relations 
at the house, and when dinner time came, the grass 
was dry and they set the table out under the trees 
and made it look as picnicky as possible. It clouded 
up a little when they were setting the table, but no- 
body thought it looked very threatening. The 
soaked things had been dried as carefully as pos- 
sible, and the table looked beautiful when they gath- 
ered around it. And just about the time they got 
their plates filled and declared that they were glad 
they came back, and that this was ever so much bet- 
ter than Prospect Hill, a forty acre cloud came and 
stood right over the table, and then and there went 
all to pieces. 

^'The pleasure-seekers grabbed whatever they 



' ^ BOB " BURDETTE — HUMORIST 187 



could reach and broke for the house, uttering wild 
shrieks of dismay. They crowded into the hall, 
which wasn't half big enough, and there they stood 
on each other's trains, and trod on each other's 
corns, and poured coffee down each other's backs, 
and jabbed forks into one another's arms. And 
when Uncle Steve, who had found Aunt Carrie's 
baby out under the deserted table, maintaining an 
unequal struggle with half of a huckle-berry pie and 
a whole thunder-storm, came tearing in with the 
hapless infant, and, dashing through the crowd, de- 
posited it on top of a pile of hard-boiled eggs, Miss 
Middlerib fainted, and the youngest gentleman 
cousin was driven into a spasm of jealousy because 
he couldn't walk over a row of cold meats and lob- 
ster salad to get to her, and had to endure the misery 
of seeing the oldest and ugliest bachelor uncle carry 
her drooping form to a sofa, and lay her down ten- 
derly, with her classic head in a nest of cream tarts, 
and her dainty feet on Sadie's Jenny Lind cake. 
And when Mrs. Middlerib looked out of the window, 
and saw the dog Heedle with his fore paws in the 
lemonade bucket, growling at Cousin John, who was 
trying to drive him out of it, she expressed a willing- 
ness to die right there. And when they were startled 
by some unearthly sounds and muffled shrieks, that 
even rose above the human babel in the hall, and 
found that the cat had got its poor head jammed 
tighter than wax in the mouth of the jar that con- 
tained the cream, everybody just sat on the plate of 



188 



THE PALIMPSEST 



tilings nearest him, and gasped, ^What nextT while 
Cousin David lifted cat and jar by the tail of the 
former, and carried them ont to be broken apart. 
And when old Mr. Rubelkins lost his teeth in the 
coffee pot, half the people in the hall began to lose 
heart, and one discouraged young cousin said he 
half wished that they had put the picnic off a day. 
And finally, when the uproar was at its height, the 
door-bell rang, and the aunt nearest the door opened 
it, and there stood the Hon. Mrs. J. C. P. R. Le von 
Blatheringford and her daughter, the richest and 
most stylish people in the neighborhood, arrayed 
like fashion-plates making their first formal call. 
While they stood gazing in mute bewilderment at the 
scene of ruin and devastation and chaos before them, 
Mrs. Middlerib just got behind the door and pounded 
her head against the walP\ That was the blow that 
finished the picnic. 

*'Bob" Burdette's daily column of * ^Hawkey e- 
tems ' ' was replete with ludicrous events, inexcusable 
puns, and fantastic hyperboles, as the following sam- 
ples will indicate. 

**It's the fashionable thing among Burlington 
youngsters, now-a-days, to have the mumps, and 
they are awfully puffed about it, too." 

^ ' Talk about your centennial trophies. A man on 
The Hawk-Eye has a nick that was knocked in 
George Washington's hatchet when he hit it on a 
nail in the front fence. We are the man, but our 
modesty will not permit us to say so.'' 



'^BOB'^ BURDETTE — HUMORIST 189 



little boy on West Hill, in some inscrutable 
manner obtained possession of a Swedish primer, 
last night about eight o^clock, and before the af- 
frighted mother could snatch the dangerous toy from 
his grasp he had attempted to pronounce one of the 
long words and had fractured his little jaw in three 
places." 

^*Art has its votaries even amid the untaught 
children of the wilderness. A few days ago a savage 
Indian painted his own face, went into an emigrant 
wagon that was sketched, by himself, out on the prai- 
rie after dark, and drew a woman from under the 
canvas and sculptor." 

*^A spirited race between an old man and a young 
calf yesterday morning, made a pleasant episode for 
Tenth street, out on South Hill. The calf got away 
with the patriarch in a way that was painful. He 
pulled the old gent down on his knees on a loose 
plank in the crossing, tore his trousers and ruined 
his temper and broke some of the commandments." 

The Hawk-Eye man" delighted in poking fun at 
Burlington peculiarities. An old cutter stranded on 
South Hill by some thaw or Hallowe'en prank was 
made famous from one end of the land to the other 
as the ^^Red Sleigh on Maple Street". A low-lying 
block, tenanted by two or three unkempt squatter 
families with numerous dogs and uncared-for chil- 
dren, had been a problem and vexation for years. 
Burdette christened the place Happy Hollow and re- 
ported the social life of the inhabitants in great de- 



190 



THE PALIMPSEST 



tail. One day a horse ran away with a light delivery 
wagon on Angular Street, ^^but he got so dizzy and 
bewildered trying to follow the course of the way, 
that he sat down on the sidewalk and cried, from 
sheer vexation. ' ' 

Prohibition was a prominent issue in Burlington 
in 1874, and the ^^wets'^ contended that the closing 
of the saloons would hurt business. Burdette seized 
upon the argument and applied it on all sorts of 
occasions. When the poorhouse burned one of the 
paupers, indignant at being assigned quarters in an 
out-building, crossed the river and became *^a hap- 
py inmate of an Illinois poorhouse. *'Thus fanat- 
icism and religious oppression continue to drive cap- 
ital out of Burlington", concluded the city editor. 

^^Bob" Burdette launched his first lecture *^on the 
broad ocean of human hearts and ears'' at Keokuk 
in December, 1876. He had about nine and a half 
pounds of manuscript" on the subject of **The Rise 
and Fall of the Mustache" and did not miss a word 
or leave out a line. It took two hours and fifteen 
minutes to deliver that lecture and when he had fin- 
ished he hadn't enough voice left to ask for a glass 
of water". But the audience liked his humor and 
that winter he and his lecture were much in demand. 

Those were the palmy days of the lyceum when 
P. T. Barnum, Henry Ward Beecher, Joaquin Miller, 
Wendell Phillips, Henry W. Shaw, ^^Bill" Nye, and 
Eugene Field were at the height of their fame on the 
platform. During the winter of 1877-1878 Mr. Bur- 



* ^ BOB " BURDBTTE — HUMORIST 191 



dette lectured under the direction of the Redpath 
Lyceum Bureau. From that time the platform 
claimed more and more of his attention, but for sev- 
eral years he served the HawTc-Eye as special cor- 
respondent. The Roaming Robert'' letters, con- 
taining some of the finest things he ever wrote, were 
full of philosophy, humor, and pathos all blended in 
happy harmony by his frolicsome pen. They told 
with characteristic cleverness of his experiences in 
all parts of the country, of the people he met, of the 
trains he traveled on and those he missed, of the 
audiences he addressed, and of the tribulations he 
encountered. 

In 1880 he left Burlington in the vain hope that his 
wife's health would be improved and his letters to 
the Hawh-Eye ceased, though he wrote for the 
Brooklyn Eagle for several years. He spent the 
summers at some secluded place recuperating from 
the strain of the lyceum season. It was while he was 
camping in the woods in Warren County, Pennsyl- 
vania, that he received his call " to the ministry. 
*^The people came to me and said they had no 
pastor, would I preach for them? I would and did. ' ' 

Asked one time why he was a Baptist, he replied 
that he inherited his religious faith. **I love the 
Universalists and the Russians, I love the Congrega- 
tionalists and Prussians and Methodists ; I love the 
Presbyterians and the English; but I was born a 
Baptist and an American, and that settles it." 

During the lecture season for a number of years 



192 



THE PALIMPSEST 



lie preached every Sunday, ^^from Dan to Beer- 
sheba'^ In 1898 he became supply minister of the 
First Presbyterian Church of Pasadena, California, 
and when the Temple Baptist Church of Los Angeles 
was organized in 1903 he was selected as pastor, a 
position he occupied until his death in 1914. 

The transition from professional humorist to 
preacher extended over a period of eighteen years. 
He emphatically denied that he had wearied of the 

strenuous life of the lecture field and sought ease 
in the pastorate^'. In these days of intellectual 
alertness, he said, ^Hhe man who seeks the pastorate 
for a vacation will find far more quiet and ease and 
meditative restfulness in falling down stairs with a 
kitchen stove or dodging automobiles on racing 
day." 

While he studiously avoided telling funny stories 
in the pulpit, his sermons were filled with richly 
humorous philosophy. Great things don't amount 
to much", he declared. *'Life is made up of little 
things. I have known men who were so great they 
were of no account. You have seen trees so big you 
could not tie a horse to them. I have heard preach- 
ers who knew so much you could not understand a 
word they said, and once in a while you go into a 
house where they have a Bible so big they never read 
it. It is easier to be great than it is to be humble. ' ' 
He always maintained that humor is but the gar- 
ment of truth." 

Sherman J. McNally 



Grasshopper Times 



Northwestern Iowa has suffered much from the 
grasshoppers. The ravages of the Rocky Mountain 
locusts were almost continuous in O'Brien County 
from 1873 until 1879, though the devastation was 
much worse in some summers than in others. 
Thomas Barry, a victim of their invasions, relates 
his personal experiences in the following pages. 

'Tis well I remember that beautiful June day 
when our future — which looked so bright — was so 
quickly blasted by an invasion of grasshoppers. It 
was Sunday morning: six of my neighbors had 
called for me to go with them to Hospers to attend 
church. There was no definite road, so we simply 
headed northwest and avoided the deepest slews. 
The sun was well up in the cloudless blue sky, 
causing the drops of dew to shine in the soft green 
grass mottled with prairie flowers. The tall grass 
by the side of the slew nodded to us as the wind 
blew over it. Meadow larks, like an orchestra of 
flutes, greeted us with their jubilant song from the 
tiptop of the tallest weeds as they accompanied us 
for long stretches. Then flashing the black crescents 
on their breasts, they flew away and others took up 
the relay with as clear a note. 

The heavy sweet smell of blue joint which filled the 

193 



194 



THE PALIMPSEST 



air so dulled my senses that the German conversa- 
tion of my companions seemed far away. A hearty 
laugh from the crowd brought me back to their pres- 
ence, and turning to them I said, Isn't this wonder- 
ful?" They looked at me rather blankly so I 
hesitated a little and ventured, * ' Schon, sehr schon, 
nicht wahr?'' and spread my arms over the land. 
They all assented, *^Ja'^ but one settler who had 
seen June prairies before edged up more closely 
and said, **Ja, schon, but you can't eat it." He 
nodded his head in emphasis and limped back to his 
place in the wagon. 

When about half way to Hospers a large black 
cloud suddenly appeared high in the west from 
which came an ominous sound. The apparition 
moved directly toward us, its dark appearance be- 
came more and more terrifying, and the sound 
changed to a deep hum. At first we thought a 
cyclone was upon us. The oxen stopped and we all 
stared at each other mystified. **Der jiingste Tag", 
one man shouted and began to pray. The cloud 
broadened out and settled lower as it drew near: 
the noise became deafening. When it was directly 
over us it looked like a heavy storm of black flakes, 
the dark particles singling out and becoming more 
defined in shape as they descended. We heard the 
buzzing; we saw the shining wings, the long bodies, 
the legs. The grasshoppers — the scourge of the 
prairie — were upon us. 

As Mike Eoeder lashed his whip and turned the 



GRASSHOPPER TIMES 



195 



oxen toward home, we nodded approval. He urged 
the animals into their swiftest gait — a wabbly trot. 
When they breathed loudly, he drew them into a 
slow, steady walk. The men spoke little : gloom set- 
tled upon the group. Again the meadow larks flew 
with us and plaintively sang, *^0, do not give up 
hope.'' 

When we pulled into my yard, the shiny brown 
pests already covered my patch of sod corn and the 
field of wheat. The entire garden was a dark mov- 
ing mass and the tender young cottonwoods were 
brown. I was greatly relieved at the apparent com- 
posure of my wife as I saw her cutting down the 
clothes line. She had recovered from her fright and 
suggested that by swinging a rope we might be able 
to save some wheat. I figured it a useless procedure 
but we tied together all the rope we could find and, 
each taking an end, we swung it back and forth most 
of the day. We saved enough wheat for seed. 

I do not think anyone but the old settlers them- 
selves can ever realize the depredations caused by 
the hoppers. In O'Brien and surrounding counties 
they ate everything before them — small grain, corn, 
vegetables, bark and leaves of trees, the clothes on 
the line, and the tender shoots of grass that grew 
near the ground on the prairie. Some farmers cut 
the unripened grain. By harvest time there was 
little left to cut. 

The settlers in northwest Iowa were for the most 
part people of limited means who had taken advan- 



196 



THE PALIMPSEST 



tage of the homestead or preemption laws. Long 
and hard they had labored in anticipation of better 
times. They had endured all of the hardships and 
privations of pioneer life in the hope of realizing a 
substantial reward in the years of prosperity that 
were to follow. They had come into the new country 
practically empty-handed, depending entirely upon 
the crops from year to year: there was no surplus 
for emergencies. The early summer of seventy- 
three held out big promises. Implements were pur- 
chased^ new granaries built, and lightning rod 
agents did a thriving business — on credit. The 
harvest would pay for it all. And then came the 
grasshoppers. To make matters worse a financial 
panic broke over the country in September. 

The approach of winter found many of the farm- 
ers in dire need of clothing, fuel, and food. A con- 
vention was held in Fort Dodge and an appeal was 
made for donations to relieve the destitute in the 
stricken region. People from all parts of the 
country responded generously, and grasshopper 
parties'' for the benefit of the homesteaders became 
something of a fad. 

When the General Assembly convened in January, 
Governor C. C. Carpenter recommended that the 
needs of the grasshopper victims should be investi- 
gated and some means provided for their relief. A 
legislative committee visited Sioux, O'Brien, and 
Osceola counties, met and interviewed hundreds of 
settlers, and found our local authorities totally un- 



GRASSHOPPER TIMES 



197 



able to meet the situation. The shortage of seed 
grain was especially serious. Before the end of 
February a bill was passed which appropriated 
$50,000 ^^for the purpose of furnishing the destitute 
in northwestern Iowa, suffering in consequence of 
the grasshopper raid of the summer of 1873, with 
such seed, grain, and vegetables as may be deemed 
necessary". Over $36,000 of this money was used 
that spring and nearly two thousand people were 
aided. I did not take advantage of any of the relief 
that was offered because I had managed to save 
some seed and we were able to buy enough food and 
clothing. 

During the late summer and early fall the hoppers 
had deposited cells of eggs in countless numbers in 
I the cultivated land. Each cell contained about 
thirty eggs and was covered with a little soil. In the 
spring the eggs hatched and the ground seemed 
alive with queer little insects about one-fourth of an 
inch in length and possessing ravenous appetites. 
They seemed to be instinctively attracted toward the 
fields where the tender shoots of grain were making 
their appearance. The first sign of their ravages 
was a narrow strip along the side of a field where 
the grain or corn was missing. At first it was 
usually attributed to a balk in sowing but as it grew 
wider day by day the cause was soon apparent. 

"We experimented with every means conceivable 
to exterminate the pests. Smudging, burning the 
prairie, burning tar, digging ditches, using kerosene, 



198 



THE PALIMPSEST 



and harrowing the land infested with eggs were all 
tried with little success. 

Again there was no harvest. Many settlers left 
the country disheartened and discouraged. Some 
did not wait to dispose of their land but loaded up 
and left, others sold for what they could get, while 
those who remained hoped for the next year. Many 
were in a pitiful condition. I sold our old home in 
Massachusetts and was saved some of the privations 
my neighbors suffered. Sharks and swindlers were 
plentiful and took advantage of the needy settlers by 
offering mortgages at high rates of interest — fre- 
quently charging two and one-half per cent a month. 
Only the coarsest food was available. 

Every spring a new horde of grasshoppers was 
hatched. They moulted and began to eat as soon as 
green vegetation appeared. At times we were vis- 
ited by migratory swarms which would stay a while 
and then all fly off again in a favorable wind. A 
grasshopper flight has been likened to ^*an immense 
snow-storm, extending from the ground to a height 
at which our visual organs perceive them only as 
minute, darting scintillations, leaving the imagina- 
tion to picture them indefinite distances beyond. 
. . . On the horizon they often appear as a dust 
tornado, riding upon the wind like an ominous hail- 
storm, eddying and whirling about like the wild, 
dead leaves in an autumn storm''. When a change 
of temperature was encountered or a storm ap- 
proached the grasshoppers descended. In alighting, 



GRASSHOPPER TIMES 199 



they circled in myriads about you, beating against 
everything animate or inanimate, driving into open 
doors and windows, heaping about your feet and 
around your buildings, while their jaws were con- 
stantly at work biting and testing all things in seek- 
ing what they could devour. Amid the incessant 
buzz that such a flight produced and in the presence 
of the inevitable destruction going on everywhere, 
one was bewildered and awed at the collective power 
of the ravaging host. 

The noise made by one of the vast swarms of 
migratory grasshoppers when they were engaged in 
their work of destruction was much the same as the 
low crackling and rasping sound of a prairie fire 
swept along before a brisk wind — and the damage 
was scarcely less complete. The poet Robert 
Southey has vividly described the noise produced by 
a flight of these locusts : 

Onward they come, a dark, continuous cloud 
Of congregated myriads numberless, 
The rushing of whose wings was as the sound 
Of a broad river, headlong in its course 
Plunged from a mountain summit, or the roar 
Of a wild ocean in the autumn storm, 
Shattering its billows on a shore of rocks ! 

Their flights sometimes darkened the sky and gave 
the settler an ominous feeling of disaster. One 
afternoon I was coming from Primghar in company 
with some neighbors when the largest and darkest 
cloud of hoppers we had ever seen passed between 



200 



THE PALIMPSEST 



lis and the sun. The landscape grew hazy and 
things seemed so unreal we could hardly believe our 
senses. Daylight vanished, the air lost its warmth, 
and stars were visible. But after a while the cloud, 
carrying a tail like a comet, passed on. Sunlight 
and warmth returned, but it was several hours be- 
fore we could shake off the terror that had seized us. 

People in the East have often smiled incredu- 
lously at our statements that the grasshoppers 
stopped the trains on the railroads. At times the 
hordes of migratory hoppers accumulated on the 
track in such numbers that the oil from their 
crushed bodies made it necessary to sand the rails 
before the train could make the grade. J. M. Brain 
ard, a prominent newspaper man in Iowa at that 
time, related that one day, well along in the after- 
noon, while he was on a trip to Council Bluffs, the 
train came to a standstill on the eastern slope of the 
divide near Arcadia. The sun was low and the air 
cool so that the hoppers had clustered upon the 
warm rails. The engineer was obliged to back the 
train and then make a rush for the top of the grade 
liberally sanding the track as he did so. The same 
performance was repeated several times. 

Some people, not living in the devastated section 
treated the invasion as a joke. Much humorous lit- 
erature was published concerning the hoppers 
Menus were printed showing the variety of ways 
they could be served as food. It was said that really 
delicious soup could be made from the insects, while 



GRASSHOPPER TIMES 



201 



fried in butter they tasted no better and no worse 
than shrimps. An agricultural house got out a card 
that had a picture of an enormous hopper sitting on 
a fence gazing at a field of wheat, and underneath 
were the words: **In this (s) wheat bye and bye'\ 
Fabulous yarns were told of the weird things the 
grasshoppers did. 

As might be assumed, the loss of many harvests 
caused hard times. There was little money in circu- 
lation. Gopher pelts, on which there was a bounty 
of five cents, were a common medium of exchange. 
I used some cutlery that I received from Northamp- 
ton in place of money. There was a good demand 
for my ware so I tramped the prairies with my sack 
on my back and visited surrounding towns. 

The grasshoppers transformed the prairie into a 
barren world. Only the coarsest dry grass re- 
mained. Glossy brown hoppers shone everywhere 
in the sunlight, often piling up in their greed for 
any tender vegetation that might be found. I passed 
prairie shacks with the doors nailed shut; heard 
pitiful tales from settlers' families; saw hungry 
children, lean cattle, and a few cases of despair. 

With all the desolation, hope never seemed to 
leave me. I was often lost in the fog and staid on the 
prairie all night. Thinking little of my health which 
I had been sent west to recover, I lay on the ground 
and watched the fog lift and the friendly stars come 
out. When dawn stole around me I arose, convinced 
that better times were in store for us. 



202 



THE PALIMPSEST 



In the summer of seventy-nine, when we all felt 
that we could not endure much longer, a favorable 
wind came before the hoppers had deposited their 
eggs. They arose and flew high seeking richer 
fields. 

After the invasion was over, there was an influx 
of new settlers. Barbed wire did away with the 
free range and marked off our land like a checker- 
board. A town sprang up near my place and the 
Chicago and Northwestern trains putf ed through my 
pasture. A period of general prosperity began. H 

Of the seven old settlers who witnessed the com- 
ing of the grasshopppers on that memorable Sunday 
in June, 1873, six have gone to their reward. In 
the years that followed we found that we had the 
same ideals, though we spoke a different language. 

Josephine Baery Donovan 



Comment by the Editor 



THE AGE OF IOWA 

In a political sense Iowa is young. Indeed, the 
political history of this Commonwealth is com- 
passed in the span of a single lifetime: it is but a 
moment in the evolution of political institutions. A 
little less than eighty-five years have passed since 
the Territory of Iowa was established. It was 
scarcely more than three quarters of a century ago 
that the Territory became a State. Sixty-five years 
measure the time that Des Moines has been the 
capital city. All within the memory of men still 
living. 

Physically, however, Iowa is as old as the rest of 
the world. This region existed ages before the ad- 
vent of man. Most of the time it was under the sea 
while tiny clams laid down their shells to form the 
limestone and the marble for the future dwellings of 
a nobler race. There were also long periods when 
the ocean receded and the land appeared. Some- 
times the country was a barren waste; again the 
climate was tropical when giant trees and enormous 
ferns grew in reptile-infested marshes; and only a 
hundred thousand years ago the surface of Iowa was 
covered with glaciers. The geological history of 
Iowa is measured by incomprehensible eons of time. 



203 



204 



THE PALIMPSEST 



In the realm of human history Iowa has a vener- 
able past. The mound builders flourished centuries 
before the civilization of the Pharaohs of Egypt. 
On the seventeenth of June it will have been just 
two hundred and fifty years since the white men first 
came to Iowa. Louis XIV was then dreaming of 
empire; Charles II maintained his uncertain seat 
upon the English throne ; while Peter the Great was 
just learning to walk. The discovery of Iowa by 
Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet occurred in 
1673, nearly sixty years before George Washington 
was born and a century prior to the Boston Tea 
Party. 

When William Penn was petitioning King Charles 
for an American land grant in 1680 Louis Hennepin 
was voyaging up the Mississippi along the eastern 
border of Iowa. Ten years before the siege and 
capture of the impregnable fortress of Louisburg by 
New England militia in 1745 the Sac and Fox In- 
dians had defeated a French army in the Des Moines 
Valley. At the time Washington took the oath of 
office as President of the United States, Julien Du- 
buque was busily mining lead on Catfish Creek. 
Iowa is as old as the nation, and older. 

J. E. B. 




ON THE WAY TO JOWA 



2il 



Pointing the Way , 

1 - ^- iAENAS Gr. WjEU>: - 

The Discovery 215 

Eruce E. MaHan 

Ruth Middaugh 

' ~ ' ^©HN Ely BRiGci 
Comment 249 

^PuBUSHED MoNTHiyAr IowaCitt 

t ""iHESiiEHfiromiSMoFW 



ENTERED AS SECOND CLASS MATTER JULY 28 !920 AT THE POST OFFICE AT IOWA CITY IOWA 
UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 24 1912 




THE PURPOSE OF THIS MAGAZINE 

The Palimpsest, issued monthly by the State His- 
torical Society of Iowa, is devoted to the dissemina- 
tion of Iowa History. Supplementing the other pub- 
lications of this Society, it aims to present the materials 
of Iowa History in a form that is attractive and a style 
that is popular in the best sense— to the end that the 
story of our Commonwealth may be more widely read 
and cherished. 

BENJ. F. Shambaugh 

Superintendent 



THE MEANING OF PALIMPSESTS 

In early times palimpsests were parchments or other 
materials from which one or more writings had been 
erased to give room for later records. But the eras- 
ures were not always complete; and so it became the 
fascinating task of scholars not only to translate the 
later records but also to reconstruct the original writ- 
ings by deciphering the dim fragments of letters partly 
erased and partly covered by subsequent texts. 

The history of Iowa may be likened to a palimpsest 
which holds the records of successive generations. To 
decipher these records of the past, reconstruct them, 
and tell the stories which they contain is the task of 
those who write history. 



PRICE — 10c per copy: $1 per year: free to members of Society 
ADDRESS — The State Historical Society Iowa City Iowa 



The Palimpsest 

EDITED BY JOHN ELY BRIGGS 
Vol. IV Issued in July 1923 No. 7 

COPYRIGHT 1923 BY THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF IOWA 

Pointing the Way 

Toward the Mississippi Valley the tide of world 
empire has been setting for three quarters of a cen- 
tury and is not even yet at its height. The financier 
may turn his eyes toward Wall Street or Thread- 
needle Street, the student may plan his pilgrimage 
to Cambridge or Leipzig, the artist may long for the 
inspiration afforded by the Louvre or the galleries 
of Florence, but the teeming millions of the over- 
crowded places of the world, with hands restless to 
do and hearts ready to dare, turn eager faces to- 
ward this great central basin of North America. In 
I the center of this vast tract, midway between the 
mountain barriers to the east and to the west, mid- 
way between the tropic sea to the south and the 
frozen sea to the north, stands Iowa. And the way 
thither — will it interest you for a few moments 1 

[This account of the French explorations which led to the discovery 
of Iowa is adapted for The Palimpsest from an address by Mr. Weld 
before the State Historical Society of Iowa in 1910. — The Editor] 



205 



206 



THE PALIMPSEST 



Singularly enough the history of the Mississippi 
Valley began with Jacques Cartier's voyage up the 
St. Lawrence in 1534. Fishing fleets began to fre- 
quent the waters about Newfoundland, occasionally 
ascending the river for the winter and carrying on a 
profitable fur trade with the Indians. It soon be- 
came evident that this trade was well worth develop- 
ing, and furs came to be sought by the French in the 
north as eagerly if not as rapaciously as was gold by 
the Spaniards in the south. Champlain came up the 
river, bringing colonists who founded Quebec in 
1608, the same year that the English founded James- 
town. 

Whence came this supply of furs? And whence 
came this great river, mightier ten-fold than any of 
the rivers of Europe? The first of these problems 
appealed to Champlain 's superiors, the latter to 
Champlain himself. He took but little interest in his 
colony except as it served him as a base for his 
explorations. He heard of a great sea to the west 
and would reach it and find thereby the way to Far 
Cathay. The St. Lawrence itself was blocked by the 
Iroquois Indians of northern New York, whose hos- 
tility to the French, and particularly to Champlain, 
was fierce and unrelenting. So he pushed his canoes 
up the Ottawa until its waters enmeshed with those 
of a lake called Nipissing. From this lake he fol- 
lowed a river, now known as French River, down to 
the Georgian Bay of Lake Huron. The Great Lakes 
lay before him, but it was not his to explore them. 



POINTING THE WAY 



207 



Indeed he had been preceded thus far by Franciscan 
missionaries who were already established among 
the Huron Indians at the head of this same bay. 

Then followed two decades of confusion and re- 
organization of the French colonies. The great 
Eichelieu next assumed their management and, 
though Champlain was reappointed Governor, com- 
merce and trade were monopolized by a company 
known as the Hundred Associates ; while the Jesuits 
were virtually in charge of all other interests, tem- 
poral as well as spiritual. 

In July of 1634 it was that the Jesuit missionaries 
Brebeuf, Daniel, and Davost embarked with the In- 
dian canoe fleet on its annual return journey from 
Three Elvers to the Huron country. Jean Nicollet 
was one of this motley company, but the situation 
was far less novel to him than to his black-robed 
fellow countrymen. Brebeuf speaks admiringly of 
him as being equal to all the hardships endured by 
the most robust savages." The tiresome ascent of 
the Ottawa was finally accomplished and the canoes 
glided out upon the waters of Lake Nipissing; thence 
down French River to G-eorgian Bay and on to its 
head, where the Jesuits established themselves in the 
place formerly occupied by the Franciscans. 

They were soon joined by Nicollet, who had tar- 
ried for a time with the Indians on an island in the 
Ottawa. After procuring a suitable outfit and en- 
gaging seven Hurons to act as guides, Nicollet bade 
adieu to Father Brebeuf and his associates and set 



208 



THE PALIMPSEST 



out on Ms voyage westward. His commission re- 
quired him to explore such countries as he might be 
able to reach and to make commercial treaties with 
the people dwelling therein. The party coasted 
along the eastern and northern shores of Lake Hu- 
ron, passing through the dangerous channel to the 
north of the Manitoulins until they found themselves 
tossing about in the eddies below the Sault Ste. 
Marie in water through which now floats a commerce 
whose tonnage is three times that which passes Port 
Said and Suez. 

But for Nicollet the scene seems to have had no 
special interest. He must have heard from the In- 
dians of Lake Superior, but makes no mention of 
having visited it. The water coursing past his camp 
at the foot of the rapids was fresh and gave no 
promise that the ^^salt sea'' of which he was in 
search lay beyond. Thus did he miss discovering 
the greatest of all the Great Lakes. 

Dropping down St. Mary's Strait he rounded the 
upper peninsula of Michigan and passed on through 
the Straits of Mackinac. The second lake of the 
Hurons," as Lake Michigan was for a time called, 
lay before him. Boldly following the northern shore 
of this new-found sea Nicollet entered Green Bay, 
land-locked by the present State of Wisconsin. He 
pushed on to its head, where he for the first time 
encountered tribes of Indians with whom he could 
not converse. He believed himself upon the out- 
skirts of the vast Chinese Empire. Being invited to a 



POINTING THE WAY 



209 



council with the chiefs he donned the gorgeous man- 
darin's cloak, which he had brought in an oilskin 
bag to wear at his appearance before the Chinese 
court, and approaching, discharged his pistols into 
the air. The impression was all that could be de- 
sired, but he soon discovered that he had not yet 
reached China nor even its outskirts. He was well 
received, however, and passed on up the Fox River. 

After traversing Lake Winnebago he found him- 
self once more among Indians of the Algonquin stock 
whose language was intelligible. From them he 
heard of a ^ ^ great water ' ' which could be reached in 
three days by a short portage from the upper Fox 
Eiver. The portage referred to was, of course, that 
into the Wisconsin Eiver at what is now Portage 
City. Had he taken this ''three days' journey" he 
would have debouched, not upon a new sea as he 
supposed, but upon the upper course of the Missis- 
sippi at Prairie du Chien opposite McGregor, Iowa. 
The ^^way to Iowa" had been pointed out, but many 
years were to pass before the first white man set 
foot on Iowa soil. Why Nicollet missed this oppor- 
tunity, as he had already missed that at Lake Supe- 
rior, is not in the least clear. What he did do was to 
travel overland to the south to visit and establish 
friendly relations with the great nation of Illinois 
Indians, obtaining at the same time some general 
notion of the extent of Lake Michigan. 

But the discoveries of Nicollet were not soon to be 
followed up. Scarcely had he returned to Three 



210 



THE PALIMPSEST 



Eivers when Champlain died. Then came a sncces- 
sion of incompetent Governors. The Iroqnois took 
advantage of the situation and devastated the conn- 
try, utterly destroying the Huron nation in 1649. 
Such of the Jesuit missionaries as had escaped death 
were hastily recalled. The fugitive Hurons and Ot- 
tawas betook themselves to the remotest shores of 
the Great Lakes or sought refuge at Quebec, while 
others became amalgamated with the Iroquois them- 
selves. Even the fortified settlements on the St. 
Lawrence were in danger. 

In 1660 Radisson and his brother-in-law, Grosseil- 
liers, launched their canoes upon Lake Superior and 
followed the south shore to the end of the lake. 
Here they located the remnants of the Huron and 
Ottawa tribes, secure in these distant regions from 
the fury of the Iroquois. It is claimed that the 
brothers, in their overland explorations, came upon 
the Mississippi ; but, while it may be reasonably in- 
ferred, this is not definitely confirmed by Eadisson's 
journal. 

Jean Talon, the capable Intendant of New France, 
was now devoting his best energies to establishing 
the claim of the mother country to the broad interior, 
the real extent of which was beginning to unfold 
with the simultaneous advance of missionary and fur 
trader. He meant to occupy this region and secure 
control of its great waterways. Little recked he of 
Far Cathay. He dreamed of a vast new empire for 
France. The English, mere grubbers of the soil, 



POINTING THE WAY 



211 



were to be confined to the region between tbe At- 
lantic coast and the Alleghanies, while Spanish in- 
fluence was to be thwarted by the establishment of 
French colonies on the Gnlf of Mexico. 

A splendid expedition was organized under Saint- 
Lusson and sent to Sault Ste. Marie to take formal 
possession of the whole interior of North America 
in the name of the French King, Louis XIV. But 
Talon was determined to give the claim made in 
behalf of his sovereign a more substantial founda- 
tion. He resolved to discover and map the course of 
that mysterious great river'' concerning which 
such conflicting but insistent rumors had been cur- 
rent ever since the days of Champlain. To execute 
his purpose he chose Louis Joliet. 

The experienced explorer was joined at Mackinac 
by Father Marquette, then in charge of the Huron 
mission at St. Ignace. It was early spring. The ice 
had just left the straits. They made instant haste 
to prepare for the journey. Five companions were 
chosen — all Frenchmen and experienced wood- 
rangers. Their two canoes of birch bark, stiffened 
with cedar splints, were selected with unusual care. 
Though large enough to carry safely the seven 
voyageurs and their provisions of smoked meat and 
maize, besides blankets, camp utensils, guns, instru- 
ments, and a quantity of trinkets to serve as pres- 
ents to the Indians, they were still light enough to 
be easily portable. Joliet and the five wood-rangers 
were dressed in the buckskin suits then worn by 



212 



THE PALIMPSEST 



frontiersmen ; but Marquette retained his long black 
Jesuit's cassock and cumbered himself with no 
weapon save his rosary. 

On the seventeenth of May, 1673, they pushed off 
their canoes into the crescent-shaped bay at St. 
Ignace, rounded the point to the south, and headed 
westward along the northern shore of Lake Mich- 
igan. The voyageurs must have felt the quickening 
influence of the changing season. They paddled all 
day, relieving one another by turns. Trolling lines 
were set to catch fish. At twilight they landed to 
prepare for the night. The sand of the beach still 
retained the heat of the midday sun. Each canoe 
was hauled up beyond the reach of the waves, turned 
over, and propped up by one edge to serve as shelter. 
One of the party collected dry driftwood for the fire. 
Another cut forked sticks and set them up in the 
sand to hold a crossbar upon which the kettle was 
hung. Hulled corn was cooked ; the fish were broiled 
in the embers; and Marquette blessed the simple 
meal. Then, sitting 'round the camp fire, the tired 
explorers smoked their pipes and rested. Such was 
the routine of their voyage on Lake Michigan. 

Pushing on day after day, along the route fol- 
lowed by Nicollet thirty-nine years before, the party 
soon entered Green Bay. They turned into the 
Menominee Eiver and visited the village of the In- 
dian tribe of the same name, which signifies wild 
rice. Here they heard dreadful tales of the country 
and the river which they were about to visit and 



FATHER MARQUETTE 

A RETOUCHED COPY OF A REPUTED PORTRAIT 



POINTING THE WAY 



213 



were urged to go no farther. A few days later they 
were welcomed at the mission at the head of the bay, 
still conducted, as it had been founded, by Father 
Claude Allouez. After making some final arrange- 
ments here they ascended Fox Eiver, crossed Lake. 
Winnebago, and entered the devious course of the 
upper Fox. On the seventh of June they had 
reached the neighborhood of the portage to the Wis- 
consin Eiver, first made known by Nicollet. 

Guides were secured to conduct them to the point 
at which the portage was easiest. This point 
reached, they carried their canoes and baggage a 
mile and a half over a marshy prairie and, parting 
with their guides, launched upon the Meskousing 
(Wisconsin), whose current might bear them to the 
South Sea, the Gulf of California, or the Gulf of 
Mexico, they knew not which. 

The navigation of the Wisconsin presented no 
serious difficulties and ten days later, on the seven- 
teenth of June, the explorers floated out upon the 
broad surface of a mighty river, which they must 
have recognized at once as the * ' great water ' ' which 
they had been sent to find out and explore. They 
were in the shadow of the almost mountainous bluff 
at the foot of which lies the quaint little town of 
South McGregor, the Bingen of the Mississippi. 
Beyond lay the rolling prairies of Iowa; but little 
did they, or their successors for a century and a half 
to come, dream of such a Commonwealth as ours. 
The depth and breadth of the channel and the swift- 



214 



THE PALIMPSEST 



ness of the current gave them some notion, however, 
of the extent of the territory to which they had 
gained access. 

The way to Iowa — to the whole Middle "West as 
well — had been discovered. But between the dis- 
covery of Iowa and the beginning of the history of 
this Commonwealth there is an interval of a century 
or more. During this interval the region was fre- 
quently visited by white men. Its broad prairies, 
the Mesopotamia of the New World, were doubtless 
well known to the French and American traders who 
by turns coursed up and down the Mississippi and 
the Missouri in quest of buffalo skins. 

But the men who have made Iowa and our Middle 
"West what it is to-day came, not by way of the Great 
Lakes from Canada, nor up stream from the French 
colonies of Louisiana; not in canoes laden with 
baubles for cheating the savage, but in emigrant 
wagons with wives and children and bringing agri- 
cultural implements. They came swarming through 
the passes of the Alleghanies and brought with them 
into this new land the spirit of the American Eevo- 
lution. 

Laenas G. Weld 



The Discovery of Iowa 



|P On the seventeenth of Jnne, 1923, two men stood 
on the heights above McGregor, Iowa, and gazed 
upon the panorama of river and tree-clad islands 
below, and the sweep of Wisconsin farm land in the 
distance. One wore the long black cassock, the 
cinctnre, the crucifix, and the shovel-board hat of a 

I Jesuit missionary of the seventeenth century, while 

II the other was islad in the fringed coat, trousers, and 
moccasins of a coureur de hois of New France. Both 

j were Iowa men — one impersonating the brave but 
t gentle Father Jacques Marquette, the other enact- 
ing the role of the intrepid and skilled Louis Joliet 
I — who, with boatmen five, newspaper representa- 
tives, and cameramen, were that afternoon about to 
start on a two hundred and fifty mile replica voyage 
in commemoration of the discovery of Iowa. 

Far below them a ferry boat churned its way up 
the channel toward the pontoon railroad bridge. 
J Horseshoe Island, with its graceful curves and lux- 
I uriant foliage, presented a bit of nature *s landscape 
i gardening. Across the Mississippi, framed in a set- 
ting of green-topped hills and bluffs that merged 
into soft blue haze in the distance, lay the quaint old 
I French town of Prairie du Chien. Above the trees 
to the southeast loomed the towers of Campion Col- 
lege. Farther north gleamed the limestone ruins of 



215 



216 



THE PALIMPSEST 



Old Fort Crawford above which the Stars and 
Stripes were proudly waving, a reminder of the im- 
portance of this frontier post in the days of the fui 
traders. The spacious buildings and lawns of St, 
Mary's College were visible on a gently sloping hill- 
side, where amid a riot of color, Wisconsin citizens 
were celebrating the discovery of the Mississippi 
with a pageant, ^'The Father of Waters". 

Some four miles below, the gentle current of the 
Wisconsin Eiver disembogued into the swifter flow- 
ing Mississippi almost opposite the bold promontory 
now called Pike's Hill. It was there, two hundred 
and fifty years ago, that ^'we safely entered the 
Missisipi on the 17th of June, with a joy that ] 
cannot express", wrote Father Marquette. On the 
seventeenth of June, 1923, the replica voyageun 
floated out upon the choppy surface of the mightj 
river, not perhaps with joy but with wonder at the 
magnificence of the view. The mountainous range 
of bluffs dominated by Pike's Hill overshadowed the 
river on the west, while scallops of green-clad hills 
with layers of outcropping limestone framed the 
scene on the east, back of the flood plain along the 
shore. 

Turning downstream, the explorers of 1923 beheld 
new features at every bend of the river. New scenic 
delights greeted them on every hand, much as the 
view must have charmed the adventurers of two and 
a half centuries ago. Islands, willow fringed and 
crowned with cottonwoods, maples, and elms, ap- 



THE DISCOVERY OF IOWA 217 



peared; the river widened and the sun dipped in a 
blaze of color behind the western hills. Then came 
modern touches of life and action. A lumbering 
freight train thundered along the base of the cliffs 
and the engineer whistled a noisy greeting. Clam 
muckers watched the symbolical voyage pass by, 
amazement pictured on their faces. Passengers on 
an upstream packet waved handkerchiefs and shout- 
ed salutations. Twilight settled down and yellow 
gleams atop the light boards along the shore marked 
the course of the channel. Guttenberg appeared off 
the starboard bow and two paleface braves in Indian 
garb put out in a canoe from shore bearing a mes- 
sage of welcome and an invitation to spend the night 
as guests of the town. 

How different must have been the first night 
passed by the seven Frenchmen along the Iowa shore 
two hundred and fifty years ago! Then, as the 
golden sun sank to rest behind the bluffs and twi- 
light fell, they pushed the prows of their two birch- 
bark canoes ashore. Stretching their cramped limbs 
they prepared to do their simple cooking. A tiny 
campfire was built with dry driftwood and in the 
glowing embers they cooked their frugal meal of 
Indian corn and smoked meat. Perhaps a fish 
caught on a towline added a supply of tasty food. 
Father Marquette invoked a blessing, and they all 
ate heartily after the day of paddling and the thrill 
of a great achievement. A short rest, a pipeful of 
fragrant tobacco, and then the boatmen extinguished 



218 



THE PALIMPSEST 



the red coals of their dying campfire and again 
lanncMng their canoes, the party floated a few miles 
farther on to spend the night. When darkness 
spread its sable robes over the river they anchored 
at some distance from the shore, and a boatman 
watched while the others slept. 

At sunrise they were on their way. Once a huge 
fish struck Marquette's canoe with such violence 
that the frail craft was nearly overturned. The 
great sturgeon which ^'rushed through the water 
like hungry sharks'' excited their admiration and 
the curious paddle fish aroused their wonder. Herds 
of deer and buffalo were seen and wild turkeys made 
a welcome addition to their meager food supply, but 
no sign of human habitation met their searching 
gaze. They seemed to be alone on the long sweeps 
of the broad Mississippi with its changing kaleido- 
scope of wooded islands and sand bars, its tree- 
covered bluffs and open spaces alternating along the 
banks, and its wide surface, now smooth as glass, 
now churned to white-capped angry waves by a stiff 
south wind. Every night, however, they took pre- 
cautions against a surprise attack. Thus they jour- 
neyed along the eastern shore of the Iowa land 
during that eventful month of June, 1673. 

The river then flowed untrammeled to the sea, but 
the voyageurs of 1923 saw on every hand the at- 
tempts of man to subdue the spirit of the Mississippi 
and to control its moods. Wing dams made of woven 
willows weighted down by limestone rocks directed 



THE DISCOVERY OF IOWA 219 



the current into the channel. Government dredges 
and snag boats puffed upstream pushing barges 
piled high with willows. Dingy steamboats nosed 
along barges heavily loaded with sand and rock re- 
pairs for the levees. Eed buoys and black buoys 
slowly bobbing in the water and light boards and 
diamond boards at intervals along the shore made 
modern navigation easy. 

An excursion boat, gleaming white in the glaring 
sun, appeared around an island downstream and, 
with black smoke pouring from the twin stacks, it 
approached and passed on the port side, following 
the deepest part of the channel. The high swells 
made by its large stern paddle wheel tossed the 
small canoes of the replica explorers like chips. 
Spray from the plunging bows dashed over the boat- 
men, drenching their costumes and glistening on the 
fringed coat of Joliet and the black robe of Mar- 
quette. 

A herd of cattle standing knee deep in the water 
far out on a sand bar took the place of the buffalo 
and deer that were seen by the original explorers. 
A sail boat manned by a sunburnt, barefoot boy 
dashed athwart the bow of the accompanying launch 
and careened at a dangerous angle as he doubled 
back to watch the flotilla pass. He yelled and waved, 
and his companion, a fox terrier, barked excitedly. 
Fishermen in motor dories trailed their lines and 
waved a salute in passing. Sandy bathing beaches 
and summer cottages with pleasant names — "Wood- 



220 



THE PALIMPSEST 



side, Chalet, Three Elms, and Idlewild — suggested 
cool retreats from the scorching heat. A cluster of 
houseboats with drying reels and fish racks marked 
the approach to a city. Then in the distance ap- 
peared the graceful outline of a high-arched traffic 
bridge and the squatty, rugged framework of a rail- 
road bridge — signals for the readjustment of wigs 
and the refashioning of French beards. A sched- 
uled stop lay just ahead. 

No such sights greeted the original voyageurs. 
Not a canoe, not a hut or tepee, not a single sign of 
human life did they descry for eight days. Finally 
on the twenty-fifth of June, 1673, as the exploring 
party drifted along the Iowa shore, one of the group 
noticed footprints on the sandy beach near the wa- 
ter 's edge. Quickly the canoes were beached and the 
two leaders, unarmed, started out to follow the 
marks in the sand, leaving their five companions to 
guard the supplies. It was a bold action for the 
explorer and the missionary, for neither knew what 
dangers lurked at the end of the narrow, somewhat 
beaten path which led up the bank to the prairie. 

Silently following the slender trail for about two 
leagues — five or six miles — they beheld an Indian 
village on the bank of a river and two others on a 
hill about a mile from the first. Here the two 
Frenchmen commended themselves to God, implor- 
ing His aid, and then cautiously approached without 
being noticed until they could hear the Indians 
talking. 



THE DISCOVERY OF IOWA 221 

On that quiet day in June the beauty of early sum- 
mer had settled upon the Mississippi Valley. The 
streets of the Indian villages were quiet, smoke 
curled slowly above the lodges, and the murmur of 
voices drifted through the open doorways. Inside, 
Indian women pounded corn into meal in heavy 
bowls while the braves lolled at ease on the blankets 
or mended bows and smoked long-stemmed pipes. 
Blinking papooses, brown bundles of stolid indiffer- 
ence or squalling animation, leaned in cradle-boards 
against the walls. 

Suddenly the village was startled into life. A 
loud shout from the strangers announced their ap- 
proach. The two messengers from France stopped 
to watch the effect. In a moment the villagers 
swarmed out into the sunlight, pipes were tossed 
aside, broken bows were forgotten, and the women 
ceased their work to rush about in wild excitement. 
As quickly as it began the tumult quieted. Someone 
had recognized the strangers as Frenchmen and 
friends; someone in the village, doubtless, knew 
whence the visitors came; someone, perhaps, had 
seen the energetic fur traders and the black-robed 
priests on the shore of Lake Superior or beside the 
waters of Green Bay. 

Four old men stepped out of the crowd and ad- 
vanced toward the strangers. Slowly they walked, 
two of them holding aloft in the bright sunlight finely 
ornamented tobacco pipes adorned with multi-col- 
ored feathers. Not a word did they speak as with 



222 



THE PALIMPSEST 



solemn tread they slowly covered the distance be- 
tween the village and the white men. Finally, as 
they drew near, they stopped and gazed attentively, 
yet with respect, at the visitors. Thereupon, Father 
Marquette, assured that the solemn approach of the 
four old men was meant as a courteous welcome, 
asked in Indian dialect, **Who are you?'* 

^'We are Illinois'', the old men answered, and as 
a token of peace they offered the strangers the calu- 
mets to smoke, and invited them to enter the village. 

Together the four Indians and their guests ap- 
proached the cluster of lodges where the Indians 
awaited them impatiently. At the door of one of the 
huts stood an old man, with his hands extended to- j 
ward the sun. As the group drew near the old man 
spoke, *^How beautiful is the sun, Frenchmen, 
when thou comest to visit us ! All our village awaits 
thee, and thou shalt enter all our cabins in peace. ' ' 

Then he bade them enter his lodge where a crowd 
of savages looked upon the visitors in curious yet 
respectful silence. From time to time in a low voice 
came the words, '^Hbw good it is, my brothers, that 
you should visit us." Again the pipe of peace was 
passed, first to the strangers and then to the elders. 
During this ceremony of friendship a messenger ar- 
rived bearing an invitation from the great chief of 
all the Illinois to proceed to his village for a council. 

Thither they set out, the black-gown and the ex- 
plorer and the elders accompanied by a great crowd 
of Indian braves, squaws, and children. The un- 



THE DISCOVERY OP IOWA 223 



usual sight of two Frenchmen in their village at- 
tracted all of the Indians. Some lay in the grass 
along the path and watched the procession pass, 
others ran on ahead and then retraced their steps in 
order to see the strangers again. Yet all this was 
done noiselessly and with great awe of the white 
men. 

When the procession reached the village of the big 
chief he was beheld standing at the entrance of his 
lodge between two old men. All three stood erect 
and naked, holding their calumets high toward the 
glowing sun. The chief welcomed the party and 
drew them within his cabin. Again they smoked the 
calumet in silence, and the Indians awaited the mes- 
sage of the white men. Father Marquette spoke first 
and, following the custom with the Indians, gave 
them four presents, each the token of a message. 

With the first he told them that he, Jacques Mar- 
quette, a priest of the Jesuit Order, and his com- 
panion, Louis Joliet, were journeying peacefully to 
visit the tribes dwelling on the river as far as the 
sea. With the second token he announced that God, 
who had created them, had pity on them and, wish- 
ing to make Himself known to all people, had sent 
the priest for that purpose. Then he gave them a 
third present saying that the great chief of the 
French had subdued the Iroquois and had restored 
peace everywhere. Finally, with the fourth gift, he 
begged the Illinois to give him and his companion all 
the information they had about the sea and the na- 



224 



THE PALIMPSEST 



tions through whose land they must pass to reach it. 

When the black-gown finished speaking the chief 
arose, and resting his hand upon the head of a little 
Indian boy, a captive slave, he spoke thus, * ^ I thank 
thee. Black-gown, and thee, Frenchman, for having 
taken so much trouble to come to visit us. Never 
has the earth been so beautiful or the sun so bright 
as to-day. Never has our river been so calm or so 
free from rocks, which thy canoes have removed in 
passing. Never has our tobacco tasted so good or 
our corn appeared so fine as we now see it. Here is 
my son whom I give thee to show thee my heart. I 
beg thee to have pity on me, and on all my nation. 
It is thou who knowest the great Spirit who has 
made us all. It is thou who speakest to Him, and 
who hear est His word. Beg Him to give me life and 
health, and to come to dwell with us, in order to 
make us know Him." I 

Then the chief placed the captive Indian boy near 
the visitors and gave them a second present, a long- 
stemmed calumet, elaborately carved and decorated 
with feathers signifying peace. It was to be a talis- 
man for the rest of the journey. With a third pres- 
ent he begged the visitors on behalf of his nation to 
go no farther on account of the dangers that lay 
ahead. Marquette replied that he feared not death 
and regarded no happiness greater than that of 
losing his life for the glory of Him who had made 
them all. This sentiment amazed all the Indians, 
but they made no reply and the council ended. 



THE DISCOVERY OF IOWA 225 



A feast followed. During the progress of the 
council Indian women had hurried to prepare a meal 
worthy of the occasion. Young girls now brought 
into the lodge the food which the squaws had made 
ready. The first course was sagamite — Indian 
corn meal boiled in water and seasoned with fat. 
An Indian, acting as master of ceremonies, filled a 
spoon and presented it several times to the mouths 
of the visitors as if they were children. Then the 
maidens brought fresh from the fire a second platter 
on which lay three smoking fish. The same Indian 
took some pieces of this, removed the bones and, 
after blowing upon the morsels to cool them, placed 
the fish in the mouths of the Frenchmen as he had 
fed them the sagamite. For the third course they 
brought a large dog freshly killed and roasted for 
the occasion, but when they learned that their guests 
did not eat that delicacy, it was removed. The 
fourth course was roast buffalo meat, the fattest and 
choicest morsels of which were given the priest and 
his companion. 

When the feast ended the hosts conducted the 
Frenchmen through the entire village consisting of 
fully three hundred lodges. During this tour an 
orator harangued the people to see the visitors with- 
out annoying them. Everywhere the natives pre- 
sented their new friends with gifts — belts, garters, 
and bracelets made of hair dyed red, yellow, and 
gray. When nightfall came the explorers slept in 
the cabin of the chief as his honored guests. 



226 



THE PALIMPSEST 



On the afternoon of the next day Marquette and 
J oliet took leave of the chief promising to pass his 
village again within four moons. They retraced 
their steps along the trail to the Mississippi, courte- 
ously accompanied by nearly six hundred Indians. 
On the Iowa bank of the Father of Waters the 
Indians watched the white men settle themselves in 
their canoes, taking with them the Indian slave boy 
who was destined to share their adventures in the 
Great Valley. The sun was midway down the sky 
when they shoved oif from the shore and slowly 
paddled downstream amid the shouts of the Indians 
in manifestation of their joy at the visit of the gal- 
lant strangers. 

Thus ended the first visit of white men to Iowa. 
Two hundred and fifty years later the replica 
voyageurs encountered much the same hospitality, 
friendliness, and kindly interest that the original 
travellers met when they visited the Illinois Indians. 
Hundreds of lowans at McGregor, Guttenberg, Du- 
buque, Bellevue, Clinton, Davenport, Muscatine, 
Burlington, Fort Madison, and Montrose met the 
explorers of 1923 at the water front, looked at them 
in friendly curiosity, and then adopted them as hon- 
ored guests. They harangued the travellers and the 
voyageurs responded. Redmen in full regalia added 
color to the welcome at the landings. The trip be- 
came a continuous pageant in commemoration of an 
important episode in Iowa history. Each city feast- 
ed the party, gave them presents, and showed them 



THE DISCOVERY OF IOWA 227 



places of interest. The modern explorers were 
taken to the Abbey of New Melleray where Trappist 
monks practice the rules of an order founded almost 
six hundred years before the discovery of Iowa; 
they visited the quaint village of Tete des Mort, a 
bit of rural Europe in an Iowa valley ; they inspected 
the United States Arsenal at Rock Island ; and they 
went through the government Biological Station at 
Fairport. 

Finally, at the beautiful Crapo Park of Burling- 
ton, in a natural amphitheater overlooking the river, 
with green trees for a background and a vista of 
wooded islands and rolling prairies in the distance, 
was reenacted the welcome of Marquette and Joliet 
by the Illinois Indians. Jesuit priest and French 
explorer, Indian braves, chiefs, old men, squaws, 
and children, appearing before an audience of thou- 
sands of people, caught and reflected the spirit of 
the first visit of white men to Iowa. Then followed 
an eloquent address by a priest of the same mission- 
ary order to which Father Marquette belonged. 
Appropriate ceremonies at Bluff Park, Montrose, 
culminated the ten day celebration in honor of the 
discovery of Iowa and the first visit of white men to 
her borders. 

As the sun was midway down the sky the replica 
voyageurs set out for home in a launch, towing the 
two canoes. Darkness overtook them, and in the 
north jagged flashes of lightning silhouetted the 
bluffs and trees on the shoreline. The heavy rumble 



228 



THE PALIMPSEST 



of thunder echoed down the valley. A train rushed 
past, the glare of the headlight piercing the dark- 
ness and the flare from the opened fire box revealing 
the fireman. Then the rain ! Curtains hastily low- 
ered protected the travellers who had endured ten 
days of stifling heat on the river without a sugges- 
tion of a storm. At last the docks loomed ahead out 
of the darkness and the launch slid into its quarters. 
The voyageurs of 1923 had rediscovered the Father 
of Waters and the friendliness of the people who 
to-day inhabit the Iowa country. 

Beuce E. Mahan 



Father Marquette 



Humanity is relentless in its quick forgetfulness 
of the dead, but more than two centuries have not 
dimmed the achievements of Father Jacques Mar- 
quette, nor obliterated the memory of the fine ideal- 
ism of his life. Much of the wilderness in which he 
lived and worked has become peopled, the little mis- 
sion of St. Ignace which he built has long since 
fallen to ruins, but Marquette's spirit is still felt by 
the hundreds of summer tourists who visit the monu- 
ment at St. Ignace, Michigan, which marks the site 
of his former chapel. 

Jacques Marquette grew to manhood in the shad- 
ow of dominant personalities and past glories of 
France. Born in Laon in 1637, he came of a family 
which cherished the memory of a long line of valiant 
warriors and distinguished statesmen. As a child 
he played among the crumbling ruins of walls and 
ramparts which had withstood the attacks of many 
foes of France ; a dozen times a day he gazed upon 
the imposing cathedral built by the Church of Eome 
in the twelfth century ; and his walks frequently led 
him among the ruins of an ancient leaning tower, 
, built like that of Pisa. 

p The influence of the boy's mother, Rose de la Salle, 
together with a natural tendency toward a life of 
piety, soon made him determined to abandon the 

229 



230 



THE PALIMPSEST 



traditions of his ancient house which marked its sons 
for statesmen and warriors, and to enter the service 
of the Cross. Shortly after he was seventeen, he 
went to the neighboring town of Nancy and entered 
the Jesnit college as a novice. 

Beginning in 1632, the Jesuits had gradually pene- 
trated far into the forests of North America and 
were attempting to spread Christianity among the 
Indians of lower Canada. During his long and 
tedious months of study in France, Marquette had, 
no doubt, read accounts of these Jesuit activities 
and pictured himself as a savior of the savages in 
this strange, far country. Whatever his hopes may 
have been, he burned with an intense desire to try 
his fortunes as a forest missionary in America. 

For twelve years his ambition remained ungrati- 
fied, but he did not lose his ardor. At last, in 1666, 
when he was twenty-nine years of age, the long- 
wished-for orders arrived and Marquette quickly 
embarked for the missionary field of New France. 
He reached Quebec in September of the same year 
and it was there, while he was gaining his first 
impressions of the New World, that he met Louis 
Joliet, with whom he was afterward to share one of 
the greatest adventures of his life. 

After a rest of twenty days, Marquette was sent 
to Three Rivers, seventy-seven miles above Quebec, 
to become a pupil of Father Gabriel Driiillettes in 
the many-sided art of the Indian missionary. In 
marked contrast to the theological seminaries of Old 



FATHER MARQUETTE 231 



France, Three Rivers was a rude school in which 
the young priest learned to endure the hardships of 
toilsome journeys, to face the horrors of famine, 
pestilence, and war, and to speak the strange lan- 
guages of the Indians. But Marquette's natural 
ability, coupled with his great zeal, seems to have 
overcome all obstacles. 

Daily association for two years with the greasy 
savages of Three Rivers, constant observation of 
their manners and customs, and the mastery of six 
dialects was deemed to be sufficient apprenticeship, 
and Marquette was sent to the Ottawa mission at 
Sault Ste. Marie in the summer of 1668. There he 
was associated with twenty or thirty Nations, all 
different in language, customs, and Policy.'' After 
his first winter 's work, he wrote that the harvest of 
souls *4s very abundant, and that it only rests with 
the Missionaries to baptize the entire population". 
He was skeptical of the sincerity of the Indian con- 
verts, however, fearing that they were **too acqui- 
escent" and that after baptism they would still 

cling to their customary superstitions." He gave 
especial attention to baptizing the dying, **who are 
a surer harvest." 

Marquette remained only a year at the Sault and 
then he was sent on to the farthermost corner of 
Lake Superior to take charge of the mission at 
La Pointe. Built on a narrow spit of sand and 
gravel some six miles long, the mission was sur- 
rounded by a wild and picturesque landscape of 



232 



THE PALIMPSEST 



steep cliffs of sandstone and dark pine forests. 
Marquette assumed Ms duties with a quaking heart 
for it was a hazardous undertaking, but it was ex- 
actly the opportunity for which he had been longing. 
He went at once to visit the neighboring Indians, 
and found them to be of the Huron nation and prac- 
tically all baptized. Some of the other tribes, how- 
ever, were found to be '^very far from the Kingdom 
of God." 

It was during his service at La Pointe that Mar- 
quette first heard of the great river which flowed so 
far southward that the nations about the Great 
Lakes had never heard of its mouth. He also learned 
of the Illinois Indians — a strange tribe of savages 
who raised maize and enormous squashes, and who 
did not know what a canoe was. Then and there 
Marquette conceived the ambition to explore the 
Mississippi and to carry the Gospel to the benighted 
Illinois who worshipped the sun and the thunder. 

In the spring of 1671 the Hurons near La Pointe 
were threatened with an attack by the warlike Sioux, 
and fled to Mackinac Island. Marquette abandoned 
the mission and went with them. There, at the junc- 
tion of lakes Huron, Superior, and Michigan — the 
gateway to the land of the Illinois in the great valley 
— the shrewd Jesuit took his post and bided the 
time when he could fulfill his desire. 

Meanwhile he was kept very busy, ministering to 
the religious needs of the Indians, baptizing the in- 
fants, and making excursions into the surrounding 



FATHER MARQUETTE 233 



country by canoe and on foot. Near the edge of the 
island he established the little mission of St. Ignace, 
which was later transferred to the mainland. Its 
site is to-day marked by an imposing monument, a 
shrine for hundreds of tourists. 

Scarcely more than a year had elapsed before 
Marquette's dreams came true. It was in December, 
1672, when his friend Joliet arrived from Quebec 
with orders for him to join in exploring the Mis- 
sissippi Eiver and to spread the faith among the 
natives of that country. It was a momentous occa- 
sion in the little settlement, and during the winter 
months Marquette and Joliet were busy collecting 
information about the great western country, draw- 
ing maps, and preparing for the long journey in the 
spring. 

On the seventeenth of May, 1673, the two French- 
men, together with five boatmen, set out in two small 
birch-bark canoes. By way of the Fox and Wis- 
consin rivers, they reached the Mississippi just a 
month from the time they started, and eight days 
later paid their first visit to the people who then 
lived in Iowa. 

After two days of feasting with the Illinois In- 
dians, the party proceeded on down the river. 
Various thrilling adventures convinced the explorers 
that they were in a strange land indeed. They had 
not gone far when they saw, painted high upon the 
smooth surface of a clitf, two hideous monsters, the 
work of some imaginative Indian artist. *^They are 



234 



THE PALIMPSEST 



as large As a calf, writes Father Marquette. 
* ' They have Horns on their heads Like those of deer, 
a horrible look, red eyes, a beard Like a tiger's, a 
face somewhat like a man's, a body Covered with 
scales, and so Long A tail that it winds all aronnd 
the Body, passing the head and going back between 
the legs, ending in a Fish's tail." 

"While still discussing these pictured rocks they 
heard the rush of a rapids and in a few moments 
they were in the muddy and turbulent waters of the 
Missouri Eiver. **An accumulation of large and en- 
tire trees, branches, and floating islands, was issuing 
from the mouth of the river, with such impetuosity", 
says Marquette, that they could not pass through 
without great danger. 

Going farther to the south, the explorers encoun- 
tered great swarms of mosquitoes near the broad 
mouth of the Ohio. The heat and the insects made 
life miserable until the men hoisted canvas tents 
over their canoes, after the manner of the southern 
Indians. 

A few days later, as the voyageurs approached a 
village of Mitchigamea Indians, they saw the sav- 
ages preparing for battle. **They were armed with 
bows, arrows, hatchets, clubs, and shields", relates 
Father Marquette. **They prepared to attack us, 
on both land and water ; part of them embarked in 
great wooden canoes — some to ascend, others to 
descend the river, in order to Intercept us and sur- 
round us on all sides. Those who were on land came 



FATHER MARQUETTE 235 



and went, as if to commence The attack. In fact, 
some Young men threw themselves into The water, 
to come and seize my Canoe; but the current com- 
pelled Them to return to land. One of them then 
hurled his club, which passed over without striking 
us. In vain I showed The calumet, and made them 
signs that we were not coming to war against them. 
The alarm continued, and they were already pre- 
paring to pierce us with arrows from all sides, when 
God suddenly touched the hearts of the old men, who 
were standing at the water's edge." 

The elders succeeded in checking the ardor of the 
young braves and invited the Frenchmen to their 
village. The Indians could not understand Mar- 
quette's Algonquin dialects, but they told him that 
another tribe farther down the river near the mouth 
of the Arkansas could give what information they 
desired. 

The Arkansas Indians received the explorers with 
unmistakable demonstrations of friendship. The 
white men were feasted until nightfall, while the In- 
dians told of the dangers of the river below, of the 
fierce tribes that inhabited the country, and of the 
murderous Spaniards not far away. Pondering 
upon these warnings, convinced that they were with- 
in three days' journey of the sea, and anxious to 
report their discoveries, Marquette and Joliet de- 
cided to turn their canoes northward. 

The trip home was begun on July seventeenth. 
Paddling against the stream was far different from 



236 



THE PALIMPSEST 



floating with it, the boatmen soon discovered. They 
were forced to thread their way back and forth 
across the river to avoid the swiftest currents. As 
if to multiply their woes, the heat became almost un- 
bearable and the mosquitoes were a constant irrita- 
tion. Camping in the damp night air, without fire to 
avoid attack, and sleeping in cramped positions in 
the canoes were unhealthy" practices which would 
harm the health of any man, and Marquette, being 
naturally of a delicate physique, began to show signs 
of collapse. 

At last they reached the Illinois Eiver, where 
friendly Indians told them of a shorter way to Lake 
Michigan than the route by which they had come. 
In the course of their journey up the Illinois, they 
came one day to a village in whose lodges lived the 
same Indians they had visited in Iowa. The tired 
voyageurs were welcomed with such hospitality that 
they remained three days in the village. Marquette 
told the Indians of the God who had protected him 
on his long voyage, and before he departed he prom- 
ised to return some day and establish a mission 
among them. 

Reaching Lake Michigan, probably by way of the 
Chicago River, the weary explorers pushed their 
sadly worn canoes on toward the Jesuit mission of 
St. Frangois Xavier at De Pere, where Marquette 
had been assigned for service. There he arrived at 
the end of September, ill and exhausted, just four 
months after he had started on his journey. 



FATHER MARQUETTE 237 



During the long and tedious winter which fol- 
lowed, Marquette mind was busy making plans to 
return to the Illinois tribes and establish a mission 
near Kaskaskia. In the early autumn he believed 
himself well enough to accomplish this task and he 
started from De Pere in October, 1674. Two French 
servants accompanied him. 

Along the shore of Lake Michigan the travellers 
encountered cold and stormy weather. Constant 
exposure to wind, rain, and cold so weakened Father 
Marquette that, upon reaching the Chicago Eiver in 
December, the two boatmen were forced to build a 
rude hut and there, amidst the great silences of the 
wilderness, the three men spent the winter. The 
black-gown struggled through the strain of the cold 
season and in March the three men pursued their 
journey toward Kaskaskia. 

Marquette's health failed rapidly but they 
reached the Indian village on the eighth of April 
where Marquette *^was received as an angel from 
Heaven.'' A tabernacle of saplings covered with 
reed mats and bearskins was built close to the vil- 
lage and in it were hung ^ ^ several pieces of Chinese 
taffeta, attached to these four large Pictures of the 
blessed Virgin, which were visible on all Sides." 
There the priest spoke eloquently to more than a 
thousand braves who listened ''with universal Joy", 
and prayed that he might return to them again as 
soon as his health would permit. 

Marquette's illness grew steadily worse and, 



238 



THE PALIMPSEST 



realizing that death was not far distant, he started 
north with the hope of reaching the mission of St. 
Ignace before he died. His two faithful servants, 
taking advantage of the northward current, pushed 
the little canoe along the eastern shore of Lake 
Michigan, but April and early May were cold and 
stormy, and the two boatmen despaired of being 
able to reach their destination in time. Marquette, 
preparing to die, reclined upon the reed mats in the 
bottom of the boat. 

At last, perceiving a high eminence which he 
deemed well-suited for his burial, Marquette direct- 
ed his servants to stop, for he had selected that spot 
as the place of his last repose. It was early in the 
day and the boatmen wished to go farther, but/* God 
raised a Contrary wind'^, and they were compelled 
to turn back to the place which Marquette had point- 
ed out. There they built a little fire, made a 
wretched cabin of bark, and the dying missionary 
was laid beneath the humble roof. While the men 
were tearfully engaged in making camp, Marquette 
spent his last hours in prayer, and on the eighteenth 
of May, 1675, **with a countenance beaming and all 
aglow, he expired so gently that it might have been 
regarded as a pleasant sleep." 

The two servants buried their master as he had 
directed, and placed a large cross to mark his grave. 
In the spring, some Kiskakons carried his body to 
St. Ignace and lowered it into a small vault in the 
middle of the church. The little mission was burned 



FATHER MARQUETTE 



239 



in 1700 and for more tlian one hundred and seventy- 
five years Ms resting place was unknown. In 1877, 
Father Edward Jacker discovered the grave and 
Marquette's remains now rest in the church of St. 
Ignace and at Marquette University in Milwaukee. 

Marquette was never a man of great strength ; he 
was unfitted for the rough life of the wilderness. 
His gentle manner and frail physique, however, con- 
cealed a will of iron. Earnest, kind, and sincere, the 
model of his whole life was Saint Frangois Xavier, 
probably the greatest of all Jesuit missionaries, who 
extended the faith through fifty-two kingdoms in 
Asia. In many respects, the incidents of Mar- 
quette's life ran parallel to those of his great prede- 
cessor. When death overtook him, alone in the 
wilderness, he spent his last few hours giving thanks 
to God that he could die * * as he had always prayed, 
in a Wretched cabin in the midst of the forests and 
bereft of all human succor", exactly as Saint Fran- 
cois Xavier did many centuries before him on the 
other side of the world. 

EUTH B. MiDDAUGH 



Louis Joliet 



The story begins on Thursday the twenty-first of 
September in the year 1645. It was on that day that 
Jean Joliet, a poor wagon-maker in the service of 
the great fur-trading company of the Hundred Asso- 
ciates which then controlled Canada, might have 
been seen by some of the inhabitants of Quebec as he 
and his wife, Marie, climbed slowly up the heights 
with their infant son and made their way to the 
church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed 
Mary. There, in the presence of parents and god- 
parents, the cure baptized and christened the child 
Louis. Afterward the little family returned to their 
humble home in the old Lower Town at the foot of 
the towering rock of Quebec beside the mighty St. 
Lawrence. 

During the years that followed, while the little 
French trading post with its two or three hundred 
colonists, adventurers, priests, and nuns was just 
beginning to assume the dignity becoming to the 
capital of New France, the sturdy youngster out- 
grew his infancy and thrived in the midst of hard- 
ship and privation after the manner of the hardy 
race from which he sprang. The winters were long 
and cold, and the summers were filled with dread of 
the Indians. Yet the cheerful French folk faced 
impending calamity with a laugh or a hon mot and 

240 



LOUIS JOLIET 



241 



society in tlie Upper Town, where the seigneurs 
brought their families to spend the winter months, 
reproduced the gaiety of the salons of Old France. 

Louis Joliet developed into an alert and active 
boy. Before he was old enough to remember dis- 
tinctly his father died. He attended the Jesuit 
school with the other children of Quebec, most of 
whom lived in the Lower Town near the landing. 
Proximity to the St. Lawrence no doubt inspired the 
boy with a fancy for voyages, while the arrival and 
departure of missionaries, traders, and Indians gave 
rise to dreams of adventure and manly ambition. 
One of the youthful amusements was to play in the 
brook that came down from Cape Diamond in a suc- 
cession of little cascades. Often, as a boy, Louis 
Joliet may have climbed the steep and narrow ascent 
from Wolfe's Cove to the Plains of Abraham, just as 
a century later the British stealthily gained the same 
impregnable heights and wrested an empire from 
the French. 

J oliet seems to have been none the less a student 
for all of his boyish activities. In the Department of 
Marine in Paris there is a remarkable map of the 
island of Anticosti and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, 
drawn by him when he was only thirteen. The work 
is carefully executed and the notes and legends indi- 
cate maturity and accurate observation. In 1662 he 
decided to become a J esuit priest and took his minor 
orders in August of that year. He cultivated his 
talent for music and continued his classical course 



242 



THE PALIMPSEST 



by a study of philosophy. Four years later lie is 
mentioned with special honor for his participation in 
a public debate in philosophy, at which the digni- 
taries of the colony were present and in which the 
Intendant, Talon himself, took part. The arguments 
were made in Latin and the disputants were con- 
fined to the syllogistic method. 

During the following year Joliet, who had then 
reached his majority, was clerk of the church in 
the seminary. Father Jacques Marquette came to 
Quebec in September, 1666, and during the three 
weeks he tarried before going on to Three Eivers the 
two young men must have become well acquainted. 
Joliet, however, gave up his training for the priest- 
hood about the time that Marquette entered upon his 
chosen field as a forest missionary, and in the sum- 
mer of 1667, probably at the instigation of Talon 
and for the purpose of pursuing special studies in 
the Old "World, he sailed for France. 

After a happy year in the land of his fathers, 
Joliet returned to Quebec and began his career as 
explorer. Only the most resourceful, intrepid, and 
sturdy young men ventured upon that arduous call- 
ing. The successful coureur de hois had to know 
the craft of the wilderness — how to find his way in 
the depths of the forest; how to fashion shelter huts, 
weapons, and canoes ; how to survive alone far from 
the base of supplies. He had to live with the Indians, 
interpret their moods, and speak their dialects. 
Above all, he had to be tactful, brave, and alert. 



LOUIS JOLIET 



243 



Commissioned by the Governor of New France to 
accompany Jean Pere on an expedition in search of 
fabulous boulders of pure copper on the shores of 
Lake Superior, Joliet plunged into the wilderness 
early in the spring of 1669 and was not heard of 
again until the following autumn. One day in Sep- 
tember the Sieur de La Salle with his party of ex- 
plorers and Sulpitian missionaries in search of a 
new route to the South Sea were amazed to hear of 
another Frenchman in a neighboring Indian village 
near the western end of Lake Ontario. It was Joliet 
on his way back to Quebec. He had failed to find the 
copper mines, but he had obtained precious knowl- 
edge of the region of the Great Lakes, had visited 
Green Bay, had won the friendship of the Indians, 
had made peace between the Iroquois and the Otta- 
was, and had discovered a new and less difficult 
route to the West by way of the Grand Eiver and 
Lake Erie. For these services he was paid four 
hundred livres — not quite eighty dollars. 

Late in the following year Joliet returned to the 
Great Lakes as a member of Saint-Lus son's preten- 
tious expedition, and the early summer of 1671 found 
him at Sault Ste. Marie where a great concourse of 
Indians, priests, and soldiers had assembled to wit- 
ness an imposing ceremony. There, on the four- 
teenth of June, he stood with a little group of 
Europeans surrounded by hundreds of dusky sav- 
ages, their eyes wide with wonder, while Father 
Claude Dablon invoked a blessine; upon the huge 



244 



THE PALIMPSEST 



wooden cross erected as a token of spiritual do- 
minion. Saint-Lusson, lifting a sod and holding 
forth his sword, in the name of His Most Christian 
Majesty, Lonis XIV of France, then took formal 
possession of all the territory from Hudson Bay to 
the South Sea and westward to the ocean — a realm 
of which none of them knew the extent. ^'Vive le 
Roi!'' shouted the Frenchmen, and the Indians 
howled in concert. 

One of the most alluring mysteries of the conti- 
nent still remained unsolved. "What was the great 
water ' ' to the west of which the Indians had told the 
explorers and missionaries, and whither did it flow? 
When Talon received instructions in 1672 to direct 
his attention to the exploration of the Mississippi as 
the most important project that could be undertaken 
in behalf of New France, his choice of a person to 
entrust with such a mission naturally fell to Louis 
Joliet, the brilliant young scholar whom he had sent 
to Europe six years before and who had since dis- 
tinguished himself as a zealous and trustworthy 
explorer. 

By November, after Talon had been recalled to 
France and Joliet was far on his way, the new Gov- 
ernor, Frontenac, wrote to the prime minister that 
he had deemed it expedient for the service to send 
Sieur Joliet to discover the south sea by way of the 
country of the Maskoutens and the great river called 
Mississipi, which is believed to empty into the Cali- 
fornia sea. He is a man of experience in this kind of 




LOUIS JOLIET 



1 LOUIS JOLIET 245 

discovery and has already been near the great river, 
of which he promises to see the month." To his 
friend Father Marqnette, who was patiently waiting 
at the mission of St. Ignace for an opportunity to 
visit the Indians who lived along the great river, 
Joliet carried instructions to accompany him on the 
voyage. 

Slowly and apparently alone, Sienr Joliet paddled 
his birch-bark canoe up the turbulent Ottawa and 
Mattawan, laboriously he traversed the portage to 
Lake Nipissing, and finally emerging from its for- 
ested islands, gay with autumnal foliage, he rapidly 
descended the French Biver and floated out into the 
isle-strewn expanse of Georgian Bay. Weeks must 
have passed while he threaded that gloomy archi- 
pelago, genial October was succeeded by chill No- 
vember, each morning when the traveller awakened 
beneath his shelter of boughs he found the damp 
mosses crisp under foot, while fitful winds laden 
with snowflakes whistled mournfully in the tree tops. 
To reach Mackinac before the ice blocked his pas- 
sage the bold explorer must have taken many risks, 
for it was the eighth of December and floes were 
already forming in the straits when he beached his 
canoe at Point St. Ignace, embraced his priestly 
friend, and placed within his eager hands the fateful 
message which was to link their names upon a page 
of history. 

All through the long winter Joliet and Marquette 
made careful preparations for their momentous ex- 



246 



THE PALIMPSEST 



ploration. On the seventeenth of May, 1673, the 
little party set ont, and it was late in the autumn be- 
fore J oliet, weary and travel-worn, pulled his canoe 
onto the beach at St. Ignace. Cold weather was at 
hand, so he spent the winter at the Mackinac settle- 
ment, writing his report to the Governor, drafting a 
map of the Illinois country, and preparing his jour- 
nal of the voyage. . | 

When spring came and the ice went out of the 
strait, he embarked upon the long trip back to Que- 
bec. Week after week Joliet and his companions 
paddled homeward. At last they approached the 
town of Montreal and entered the troubled waters of 
La Chine Eapids — the last ordeal of the perilous 
journey. Many a time Joliet had passed those foam- 
covered rocks before, but the fates that day were 
capricious and overturned the light canoe. The men 
were thrown into the swift current and the box con- 
taining Joliet 's precious map and his journal was 
deposited at the bottom of the river. Frantically, 
Joliet struggled against the tugging whirlpools until 
his strength was gone and he lost consciousness. 
Four hours his body tossed in the water when at last 
some fishermen pulled him out and brought him back 
to life. His French companions and the Indian lad, 
gift of the Indians in Iowa, were drowned. 

The news of Joliet 's discovery and the accident in 
the rapids preceded him to Quebec. When he finally 
entered his native town the church bells were rung 
and he was enthusiastically welcomed. After em- 



LOUIS JOLIET 



247 



bracing his mother and visiting a little with friends 
and relatives he hastened to make a verbal report to 
Governor Frontenac. Later he wrote a brief ac- 
count of his voyage, the country he had explored, 
and the ease of establishing communication between 
the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico. Accom- 
panying this letter was a map of the region drawn 
from memory. 

For several years the young explorer was haunted 
with the memory of the beautiful prairies, the lux- 
uriant vegetation, the abundance of game, and the 
innumerable herds of bison which he had seen in the 
fertile valley of the great river. In 1676, the year 
following his marriage, he proposed to establish an 
agricultural colony in Illinois, believing that was the 
best method of maintaining the French claim to that 
region, but Paris officialdom vetoed it. Thereafter, 
for a time, he seems to have fallen into disfavor, 
perhaps because he was outspoken in opposition to 
the policy of supplying the Indians with liquor. 

So ended the period of greatest accomplishment 
in the life of Louis Joliet, though for a quarter of a 
century longer he continued to occupy an important 
place in Canadian history. A man of scholarship 
and versatility (he played the cathedral organ be- 
tween voyages), his whole career is one of remark- 
able achievement. In the Jesuit and official records 
of that time he is always referred to as a man of 
discretion, bravery, and unusual ability who might 
be trusted to do difficult work. 



248 



THE PALIMPSEST 



In 1679 Sieur Joliet was granted the seigneuriage 
of the Mingan Islands, and later in the same year he 
made a survey of the region between the Saguenay 
Eiver and James Bay, where he found the British 
firmly established. In return for his services he was 
given the island of Anticosti in the Gulf of St. Law- 
rence. There he went to live with his family and was 
growing wealthy when Sir William Phips appeared 
with his British fleet in 1690 and destroyed his estab- 
lishment. A few years later he explored the coast 
of Labrador, made numerous maps, and studied the 
Eskimos and the resources of that country. In 1695 
he went to France where he was received with honor 
and respect. When he returned to Quebec he was 
appointed royal professor of navigation and was 
given another seigneurie which bore his own name 
and which his descendants possess to this day. 

Louis Joliet died sometime in the summer of 1700 
— nobody knows just when or where or how. It is 
probable that the illustrious explorer met his end 
some place in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where so 
often he had guided his boat on adventurous voy- 
ages. Perhaps his body rests on one of those rugged 
islands which the fogs envelop with a white shroud 
and whose shores reverberate incessantly with the 
cry of gulls and the thunder of billows. 

John Ely Briggs 



Comment by the Editor 



THE EEDISCOVEEY OF IOWA 

During the eleven days from the seventeenth to 
the twenty-seventh of Jnne, there occurred one of 
the most significant episodes in the recent history of 
Iowa — the celebration of the two hundred and fifti- 
eth anniversary of the exploration of the Mississippi 
River by Louis Joliet and Father Marquette. The 
central feature of the event was a replica voyage 
from the mouth of the Wisconsin River to Montrose 
— a continuous pageant lasting ten days, extending 
over a stage two hundred and fifty miles long, and 
witnessed by great numbers of people in audiences 
sometimes of thousands and again composed of only 
a few uncomprehending clam muckers. At the end 
of the trip the visit of the Frenchmen to an Indian 
village in Iowa two centuries and a half ago was re- 
enacted, and the commemoration of the coming of 
the first white men was made the occasion for ob- 
serving other events in the early history of this 
Commonwealth. 

The significance of the celebration, however, lies 
not so much in the length of the replica voyage, the 
size of the pageants, or the cost of the whole enter- 
prise as it does in the spontaneity with which the 
project began and the wide-spread interest it 

249 



1 



250 THE PALIMPSEST 

aroused. The whole affair was the work of the his- 
tory fans'' of Iowa, inspired by Ben Hur Wilson of 
Mount Pleasant, who sells insurance for a living and 
studies local history for pleasure. Wherever the 
proposed celebration was mentioned the community 
eagerly responded. Before the end of May cities and 
clubs were vying for a place on the program, so 
that it became a problem to accommodate all who 
wished to share in the observance of Iowa's oldest 
anniversary. For every task there were ready and 
willing hands. Finances took care of themselves. 
No individual, city, society, organization, or group 
dominated the celebration: it was thoroughly demo- 
cratic — the culmination of a common impulse. 

Scarcely less impressive is the unusual interest in 
Iowa history that the event engendered. To many 
people who had never heard of Father Marquette or 
his picturesque companion, Sieur Joliet, those names 
are now familiar. For some, the Black-Robe chief, 
the Prophet" in Longfellow's Song of Hiawatha has 
become real and the poem has a new significance, for 
Father Marquette was that Black-Robe. Busy pub- 
lic officials, matter-of-fact business men, and ener- 
getic club women have haunted the libraries to learn 
of the adventurous Frenchmen who explored the 
Oreat Lakes and came into the Mississippi Valley 
seeking the Chinese Empire and a way to the sea. 
Newspapers have printed hundreds of columns con- 
cerning Joliet and Marquette and the recent re- 
incarnation of those forgotten times. Far and wide 



COMMENT BY THE EDITOR 251 



II people of every station in life have learned of the 
discovery of Iowa, have caught a glimpse of the 
! great valley as it was when the white men found it. 
! The story has become common knowledge : the peo- 
! pie of Iowa have come into a part of their rich 
, heritage of the past. 

I The celebration of an event that occurred in Iowa 
" two and a half centuries ago has done more than 
anything else to teach the people of this State that 
Iowa has a past — a past venerable in years and full 
of romance. The realm of Iowa history is broad and 
many fertile fields remain as yet uncultivated, their 
resources undeveloped and their potentiality un- 
known. There are more lessons to follow. 

THE SPIRIT OF IOWA 

- Iowa has many distinctive characteristics — 
thrift, contentment, homogeneity, literacy, wealth — 
but one of the finest of all is Commonwealth con- 
r sciousness. Perhaps it is the sum of them all. It is 
founded not upon climate or class or creed, but upon 
an all-pervading community of interests. Less than 
a year ago a cynical and superficial critic wrote that 
no one had yet been able ^^to rouse this people to a 
participation in any creative expression of the com- 
monwealth' ' and concluded, Seldom has a people 
been less interested in spiritual self-expression and 
more concerned with hog nutrition. To such a 
libel the recent memorial celebration is the answer. 
It was the true expression of the spirit of Iowa — a 



252 



THE PALIMPSEST 



spontaneous, whole-hearted, unselfish response to a 
worthy enterprise. 

In the years to come there will be many occasions 
for the recognition of important events, noble 
achievements, and glorious days in the history of 
this Commonwealth. Let there be similar demon- 
strations of the spirit of Iowa in the future. Let us 
maintain respect for our own institutions, let us 
write and read the story of our own State, let us 
compose our own music and create our own art, that 
the democracy of our fathers, the romance of our 
history, and the character of our prairies may live in 
the hearts of our people and find expression in the 
perpetuation of our native traits. 

J. E. B. 




CONTENTS 



Restorer of Iowa Palimpsests 253 

Bertha M. H. Shambaugh 



. An 4 awa Doone Bana 

f - JocelVn Wallace 

y 



Gomment 



267 
2gl 



The Editor 



1 ' ' ~ 

Published Monthw-At lowACmr By 

^ ^^HE^SmEHHfiQ^Som^oFIowA 




INTERED AS SECOND CLASS MATTER JULY 28 1920 AT THE POST OFFICE AT IOWA CITY IOWA 
UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 24 1912 



THE PURPOSE OF THIS MAGAZINE 

The Palimpsest, issued monthly by the State His- 
torical Society of Iowa, is devoted to the dissemina- 
tion of Iowa History. Supplementing the other pub- 
lications of this Society, it aims to present the materials 
of Iowa History in a form that is attractive and a style 
that is popular in the best sense — to the end that the 
story of our Commonwealth may be more widely read 
and cherished. 

BENJ. F. Shambaugh 

Superintendeni 



THE MEANING OF PALIMPSESTS 

In early times palimpsests were parchments or other 
materials from which one or more writings had been 
erased to give room for later records. But the eras- 
ures were not always complete; and so it became the 
fascinating task of scholars not only to translate the 
later records but also to reconstruct the original writ- 
ings by deciphering the dim fragments of letters partly 
erased and partly covered by subsequent texts. 

The history of Iowa may be likened to a palimpsest 
which holds the records of successive generations. To 
decipher these records of the past, reconstruct them, 
and tell the stories which they contain is the task of 
those who write history. 



PRICE — 10c per copy: $1 per year: free to members of Society 
ADDRESS— The State Historical Society Iowa City Iowa 



-v^^K^ojt -^-t/il^^^ /t^^^juLS^ Zuif iirwii^ 




The Palimpsest 

EDITED BY JOHN ELY BRIGGS 
Vol. IV Issued in August 1923 No. 8 

COPYRIGHT 1923 BY THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF IOWA 

Restorer of Iowa Palimpsests 

Lo, ''a great prophet is risen up among us" wlio 
writes of folks — just Iowa folks ! Herbert Quick, 
middle-aged and in the fullness of experience, has, 
in Vandemarh^s Folly and The Hawkey e, sent forth 
a message unto all the people, teaching them that 
the record of the generations of Iowa pioneers and 
frontiersmen who trailed their way over the Old 
Eidge Eoad to the Fort Dodge country and who 
erected the first shelters, scored the wonderful 
prairie sod, established townships, organized county 
government, and thus **set a-going" the society of 
the Commonwealth of Iowa, furnishes all the mate- 
rials of great literature and every element of great 
art. 

An artist and a scholar as well as a prophet and 
a teacher, Herbert Quick has with conscientious pre- 
cision and with keen appreciation of their worth and 
dignity reconstructed and restored for us some of 
the palimpsest records of early Iowa — already 



253 



254 



THE PALIMPSEST 



grown dim with the erasures of time and covered 
with the dust of decades. 

Herbert Quick lays no claim to the title of his- 
torian or restorer of palimpsests, but modestly 
speaks of himself as * ^ sitting in the wagon of history 
with my feet dangling down and facing the rear.'' 
And yet it is clear that he knows the road, and 
knows the people who have developed the country 
through which it winds from ^'things as raw and 
primitive as King Arthur 's time " to a ^ * region now 
as completely developed as England'' — and all 
within the memory of men still living ! He sees in 
this record a great achievement, and declares that 
there never was such a thing in all the history of 
the world before. ' ' 

The author himself and his two great books are at 
once the witness and the evidence of the beginning 
of things in Iowa — ^'the old, sweet, grand, beautiful 
things, the things which never can be again." Born 
in what he calls ''the Ancient Greek period of mid- 
western life, when communities were set out as our 
farmers planted trees, by thrusting the twigs of 
Cottonwood or willow or Lombardy poplar into the 
soil" where they were expected to grow, Herbert 
Quick remembers and understands the part played 
in the great drama of Iowa both by the generation 
of Vandemarh^s Folly who came ''voluntarily" and 
by the generation of The Tlawheye who were '* in- 
jected" into the body politic and "never saw any- 
thing else save the frontier, but who had spirits and 



EESTORER OF IOWA PALIMPSESTS 255 



souls inherited from people who lived in the estab- 
lished societies of the East and of the South and of 
the Old World." 

With masterful pen, with singular beauty of 
iiction, often with epic rhythm and march, and 
again in the picturesque language of the period (for 
styles in speech, even in Iowa, come and go like the 
paper collar and the made-up bow tie), Herbert 
Quick restores the records of life in early Iowa with 
all the skill and fidelity of the classical scholar who 
reconstructs the original writings on old parchments 
by deciphering the dim fragments of letters partly 
9rased and partly covered by subsequent texts. 
And so we hail him as a restorer of Iowa palimp- 
sests. 

In Vandemarh's Folly is reconstructed the glow- 
ing, throbbing story of the journey from the Du- 
buque Ferry, the gateway to the Land of Promise, 
over the Old Ridge Eoad, across the great green sea 
of the Iowa prairie — which was '^the newest, 
strangest, most delightful, sternest, most wonderful 
thing in the world" — to *^that holy wedlock which 
binds the farmer to the soil he tills." Then follows 
a faithful restoration of the record of that great 
3xperiment on the Iowa prairie of building a 
iemocracy based on ponderous production" and of 
^keeping a people economically free while living an 
ndustrial and agricultural life and dependent on 
lighways made by man instead of those created by 
lature." 



256 



THE PALIMPSEST 



Here in Vandemarh's Folly is restored for all 
time the palimpsest of the prairie fire — the fire that 
came up from the west like a roaring tornado ad- 
vancing in separate lines and columns and detach- 
ments like a burning army. One could see *Hhe 
flames leap up, reach over, catch in front of the line, 
kindle a new fire, and again be overleaped by a new 
tongue of fire, so that the whole line became a belt of 
flames, and appeared to be rolling along in a huge 
billow of fire .... Sometimes a whole mile or 
so of the line disappeared as the fire burned down 
into lower ground; and then with a swirl of flame 
and smoke, the smoke luminous in the glare, it moved 
magnificently up into sight, rolling like a breaker of 
fire bursting on a reef of land, buried the hillside in 
flame, and then whirled on over the top, its streamers 
flapping against the horizon, snapping off shreds of 
flame into the air, as triumphantly as a human army 
taking an enemy fort!" 

Here, too, in the same book is found a vivid record 
of the raging, howling, shrieking frontier blizzard, 
*'the breath of which came with a roar and struck 
with a shiver'' — but which can never come again 
for every object that civilization and development 
have placed in the way of the wind prevents it.'' 
Here is revealed one of the dangers in the life of the 
pioneer who, lost in two miles of snow between him- 
self and the sun, plunges headlong into the drifts, 
flounders through them, and finally cuffed and 
mauled by the storm" stumbles into a straw stack — 



RESTORER OF IOWA PALIMPSESTS 257 



and safety — or sinks into the soft snow and is 
buried — a victim of the storm. 

Is it possible for a people of a later day and a 
friendlier clime to comprehend the terrors of those 
winter storms of early Iowa I Herbert Quick's 
answer is contained in the pages of V andemarh' s 
Folly: 

^^Then the snow, once lifted on the wings of the 
blast, became a part of the air, and remained in it. 
The atmosphere for hundreds of feet, for thousands 
of feet from the grassy surface of the prairie, was 
a moving cloud of snow, which fell only as the very 
tempest itself became over-burdened with it. As the 
storm continued, it always grew cold; for it was the 
North emptying itself into the South. . . . 

**A.s the tumult grows hills are leveled, and hol- 
lows rise into hills. Every shed-roof is the edge of an 
oblique Niagara of snow ; every angle the center of a 
whirlpool. If you are caught out in it, the Spirit of 
the Storm flies at you and loads your eyebrows and 
eyelashes and hair and beard with icicles and snow. 
As you look out into the white, the light through 
your bloodshot eyelids turns everything to crimson. 
Your feet lag, as the feathery whiteness comes 
almost to your knees. Your breath comes choked as 
with water. If you are out far away from shelter, 
God help you! You struggle along for a time, all 
the while fearing to believe that the storm which did 
not seem so very dangerous, is growing more violent, 
and that the daylight, which you thought would last 



258 



THE PALIMPSEST 



for hours yet, seems to be fading, and that night 
appears to be setting in earlier than nsual. . . . 

**You can not tell, when you try to look about you, 
what is sky and what is earth ; for all is storm. You 
feel more and more tired. All at once, you find that 
the wind which was at your side a while ago, as you 
kept beating into it on your course toward help and 
shelter, is now at your back. Has the wind changed! 
No ; it will blow for hours from the same quarter — 
perhaps for days! No; you have changed your 
course, and are beating off with the storm! This 
will never do : you rally, and again turn your cheek 
to the cutting blast : but you know that you are off 
your path ; yet you wonder if you may not be going 
right — if the wind has changed ; or if you have not 
turned to the left when you should have gone to the 
right. 

Loneliness, anxiety, weariness, uncertainty. An 
awful sense of helplessness takes possession of you. 
If it were daylight, you could pass around the deep 
drifts, even in this chaos ; but now a drift looks the 
same as the prairie grass swept bare. You plunge 
headlong into it, flounder through it, creeping on 
hands and knees, with your face sometimes buried in 
the snow, get on your feet again, and struggle on. 

You know that the snow, finer than flour, is beat- 
ing through your clothing. You are chilled, and 
shiver. Sometimes you stop for a while and with 
your hands over your eyes stand stooped with your 
back to the wind. You try to stamp your feet to 



EESTORER OF IOWA PALIMPSESTS 259 



warm them, but the snow, soft and yielding, forbids 
this. You are so tired that you stop to rest in the 
midst of a great drift — you turn your face from the 
driving storm and wait. It seems so much easier 
than stumbling wearily on. Then comes the inrush- 
ing consciousness that to rest thus is to die. You 
rush on in a frenzy. You have long since ceased to 
think of what is your proper course, — you only know 
that you must struggle on. You attempt a shout ; — 
ah, it seems so faint and distant even to yourself! 
No one else could hear it a rod in this raging, howl- 
ing, shrieking storm, in which awful sounds come out 
of the air itself, and not alone from the things 
against which it beats. And there is no one else to 
hear. 

*^You gaze about with snow-smitten eyeballs for 
some possible light from a friendly window. Why, 
the sun itself could not pierce this moving earth- 
cloud of snow! Your feet are not so cold as they 
were. You can not feel them as you walk. You come 
to a hollow filled with soft snow. Perhaps there is 
the bed of a stream deep down below. You plunge 
into this hollow, and as you fall, turn your face from 
the storm. A strange and delicious sense of warmth 
and drowsiness steals over you ; you sink lower, and 
feel the cold soft whiteness sifting over neck and 
cheek and forehead: but you do not care. The 
struggle is over; and — in the morning the sun 
glints coldly over a new landscape of gently undu- 
lating alabaster. Yonder is a little hillock which 



260 



THE PALIMPSEST 



marks the place where the blizzard overtook its prey. 
Sometime, when the warm March winds have thawed 
the snow, some gaunt wolf will snnff about this spot, 
and send up the long howl that calls the pack to the 
banquet. ' ' 

Vandemarh's Folly and The Hawheye literally 
bulge with palimpsests of pioneer and frontier life 
in Iowa. Here are the records of the beginnings of 
political and social organization; of tragedies and 
comedies in that strange drama we call self govern- 
ment;" of neighborhood meetings and blacksmith 
shop conferences where **the first prairie genera- 
tion, bred of a line of foresters,'' solved their grow- 
ing problems just as had the New England farmers 
on the Massachusetts frontier ; of county politics in a 
later day with the court house ring" in control and 
waxing fat on contracts for bridges that never were 
built and roads that were never improved. 

There in Vandemarh's Folly are reconstructed the 
parties and festivals of 1854 where the **John 
Aldens, the Priscillas, the Miles Standishes and the 
Dorothy Q's" of the frontier assembled in tight 
fitting corduroys and newly greased boots, in al- 
pacas, delaines, figured lawns and calicoes, and *^set 
a-going as great a society as the Pilgrim Fathers 
and Pilgrim Mothers : the society of the great com- 
monwealth of Iowa." And here in The Hawheye 
are the fashions that ^^made Beauty seductive in 
1874" — hats which were *4ittle affairs, brimless, 
not half large enough to cover their heads," and 



RESTORER OP IOWA PALIMPSESTS 261 



dresses with skirts sweeping the grass and with 
bustles, basques, and polonaises. 

Like old albums these books reveal types of the 
* heading citizens" in the frontier communities. 
Here, for example, is the real-estate dealer in his 
buckboard buggy measuring off the land by the 
revolving buggy wheel, extolling its virtues as he 
went, '^no stumps, no stones, just the right amount 
of rainfall — the garden spot of the West .... 
without a shadow of doubt the permanent county 
seat of the best county in Iowa, and that means the 
best in the known world ! ' ' 

Here is the frontier doctor who lives above his own 
drug store, and who when called hurries down the 
stairs, sets his cases down on the sidewalk while he 
runs his buggy out of the shed and hitches up his 
horses, and then dashes off into the night, sometimes 
in time, sometimes too late to assist the *^Mrs. 
Williams" or the **Mrs. Absalom Frosts" to usher 
into the world a future citizen of the Commonwealth 
of Iowa. Here is the pioneer preacher * laboring 
with his text, speaking in a halting manner, and 
once in a while bogging down in a dead stop out of 
which he could not pull himself without giving a sort 
of honk like a wild goose. " 

Here is the first lawyer, just out from Indiana by 
way of the Ohio and Mississippi, with his ^4ong 
frock coat originally black, a white shirt, and a black 
cravat", with **his carpet bag and his law library", 
which, because *^ books are damned heavy" and law 



262 



THE PALIMPSEST 



books particularly so, consisted of Blackstone^s 
Commentaries, Chitty on Pleading , the Code of Iowa 
of 1851y and 'Hhe Session Laws of the state so far as 
it had any session laws. ' ' 

And here is the pioneer editor, ^ ' thick as thieves ' ' 
with the county ring ^^as long as he had the county 
printing", whose scurrilous paper" most people 
said ^^was never fit to enter a decent home, but which 
they always subscribed for and read as quick as it, 
came ! ' ' Here is the story of love and courtship in 
the Neolithic period of Iowa culture when it was the 
accepted order ^^to git married early and stay 
married. ' ' 

Such are the records of Vandemarlc's Folly and 
of The Hawheye. In the pages of these books there 
is no attempt to glorify the extra legal methods 
sometimes resorted to in solving the perplexities and 
difficulties of frontier life, or to speak lightly of the 
hardships on the Iowa farm in the day of bleak 
wastes, robber bands, and savage primitiveness 
there is no effort to minimize the perspiring job of 
the thrasher or the lame back and bleeding hands of 
the corn busker in a later day when the frontiersman 
'^compromised on a half section" in *Hhe Iowa 
style"; there is no ignoring the nightmare of the 
Iowa prairie farmer when ''the prospect of money 
for the mortgage and the doctor's bill and the ac- 
count at the store" was destroyed by the "rusting" 
of the wheat, or the sorrow of the Kate McConkeys 
who gave up their currant bushes and peonies to 



RESTORER OF IOWA PALIMPSESTS 263 



try again as ^'Leaseholders''; there is no glossing 
over the old political party *'way wise and broke 
nice", the machine" scheming for the domination 
of the city which was to be, or the days of **easy 
money" for the ^'conrt-house ring" and the regu- 
lars". And yet in the telling of these things by 
Herbert Quick there is none of the bitterness which 
is so often found in the tales of Hamlin Garland 
dealing with the people and lands to the east and 
west of the Iowa country; nor is there here any of 
that sneering cynicism with which Sinclair Lewis a 
generation later portrays life in the wheat country 
to the north. And because of the absence of the 
bitterness and the sneer VandemarU's Folly and 
The Hawheye are nearer the truth and will live 
longer. 

There is nothing finer in all the rapidly accumu- 
lating literature of mid-western America than Her- 
bert Quick's tribute to the mothers of the frontiers 
in The Hawheye: 

''The mothers of the frontiers ! They felt the on- 
coming of another day for their children. No life 
was so laborious, no situation so unpropitious, no 
poverty so deep that they did not through a divine 
gift of prophecy see beyond the gloom a better day 
for their children. In the smoky overheated kitch- 
ens, struggling to feed the 'gangs' of harvesters and 
thrashers, as they washed and mopped and baked 
and brewed and spun and wove and knit and boiled 
soap and mended and cut and basted and sewed and 



264 



THE PALIMPSEST 



strained milk and skimmed cream and chnrned and 
worked over butter, catching now and then an oppor- 
tunity to read while rocking a child to sleep, drink- 
ing in once in a while a bit of poetry from the sky or 
the cloud or the flower ; they were haloed like suns of 
progress for their families and for their nation, as 
they worked and planned and assumed for them- 
selves a higher and higher culture of its sort — all 
for their children. We build monuments in the 
public square for the soldiers of our wars ; but where 
is the monument for the Kate McConkeys who made 
possible so much of the good which is represented by 
the public square itself? Unless it is a monument 
not made with hands, in our hearts and souls, none 
can ever exist which can be in any way adequate. ' ' 

Whether the characters and the episodes in Vande- 
mark^s Folly and in The Hawkey e are drawn from 
actual history or from imagination, whether the 
names are real or fictitious, matters not. Faithfully, 
conscientiously, and understandingly the author has 
used them with a marvelous wealth of detail to tell 
of the beginnings of a great Commonwealth, and his 
work must be regarded as a very real contribution 
to the literature of Iowa history. For these books 
tell the truth — **not the truth of statistics, not just 
information, but the living truth'' about Iowa folks. 
They are great books! So broad in their human 
sympathies, so deep in their penetration of life's 
realities that they belong to a literature that is 
universal. 



RESTORER OF IOWA PALIMPSESTS 265 



Something of the author own experience and 
background for the writing of these books may be 
gleaned from The HawJceye in the story of Fremont 
McConkey — the country boy whom Herbert Quick 
knew the best of all — the boy of the early Iowa 
farm with the poet's soul longing for self expression. 
Fed on a diet of warmed-over English literature, 
which Americans who should have known better laid 
before him'', and taught by every one in speech 
and printed page that he is outside the realm of 
* material' for literature", he dreamed of a day when 
he might know first-hand something of Scottish 
moors ' ' and * * ruined abbeys ' ', and of the wonderful 
world of Dashing Charlie" and other glorious 
heroes with which the writers of the New York 
Weekly seemed so familiar. 

Steeped in the beauty and wonder of the prairie, 
and with flashes of realization of the dramatic ele- 
ments in the shifting, stirring episodes of its rapid 
transformation, Fremont McConkey had the grow- 
ing conviction that he could write, if — if. But who 
would want to read about Iowa! If this were only a 
mountain country, or a stern and rock-bound coast, 
one might make a story of it ! If it were only a land 
of clashing shields, or at least a place where judges 
wore robes ! But what was there in Iowa or in the 
lives of Iowa people for a writer? Could romance 
be found on the prairies, in humble country homes, in 
fields of wheat and corn, in small towns, in township 
caucuses, or in county court-houses? 



266 



THE PALIMPSEST 



With an understanding heart and with the author- 
ity of one who has received the acclaims of popular 
favor as well as the approval of the critics, Herbert 
Quick answers the Fremont McConkeys — the 
dreamers and poets of Iowa with ^^the divine fire in 
their souls.'' I KNOW THAT IF THE ARTIST 
BORN IN IOWA COULD ONLY BE ALLOWED SUCH 
A LIFE OF THE SOUL AS WOULD IMPEL HIM TO 
RESPECT HIS IOWA MATERIALS, AND TO PON- 
DER THEM LONG ENOUGH AND DEEPLY ENOUGH, 
EVERY ELEMENT OF GREAT ART WOULD BE 
FOUND HERE. 

In Vandemarh^s Folly Uncle Jacob Vandemark 
calls his story the History of Vandemark Town- 
ship''; and in The HawJceye Fremont McConkey 
tells us that his story is * ^ The History of Monterey 
County." There are ninety-nine counties in Iowa 
and some sixteen hundred townships ! What a field 
for the restorers of palimpsests and the writers of 
history! What a field for the Gertrudes" who 
*'went East to Vassar and joined the Daughters of 
the American Eevolution!" What a field for the 
*^Paul Holbrooks" just back from the State Univer- 
sity with ideals of public service ^^and against the 
County Eing!" What a field for the schools and 
colleges ! What a field for poets and dreamers ! 

Herbert Quick, prophet and restorer of Iowa 
palimpsests, has pointed the way ! 

Bebtha M. H. Shambaugh 



An Iowa Doone Band 



About forty years ago there flourished, in the 
rugged, heavily-wooded fastnesses of the Iowa 
Eiver in Hardin County, a daring and unscrupulous 
band of outlaws. Like the famous robber Doones in 
the tale of ^^Lorna Doone'', these Iowa desperadoes 
terrorized the law-abiding people of the community 
by cunning thievery and bold disturbance of the 
peace. They held sway not so much by the enormity 
of their atrocities as by the fear of the crimes they 
might commit. 

As the Doones of old England found security in a 
natural stronghold, so the Eainsbargers of pioneer 
Iowa made their headquarters in secluded gullies 
that were seldom visited by others th^n their clan. 
Their remote cabins, half concealed by the trees and 
the semi-gloom of the deep hollows, could be reached 
only by lonely byways that led through thick woods 
and along the edges of dark, sheer-cut ravines. 
Even to-day the dense underbrush grows so close to 
the road that it scrapes the sides of a passing ve- 
hicle, and the heavy gold of autumn sunlight that 
pours through the crimson sumach leaves quickly 
fades to muffling dusk in mid-afternoon. In the 
early eighties only the most daring men ever ven- 
tured upon a night ride through this section of the 
country. 

267 



268 



THE PALIMPSEST 



A story is told of an Ackley doctor who was vis- 
ited one stormy night by a stranger who begged him 
to attend a sick woman, requesting, however, that 
the doctor consent to follow him blindfolded. 
Persuaded by the man 's distress, the doctor accom- 
panied his guide to a squalid home where the family 
lived in apparent poverty. He refrained from ask- 
ing for his services a charge which evidently could 
not be met, but the man paid him liberally from a 
large roll of soiled bills. A few days later, when 
the doctor returned to see his patient, searching out 
the cabin by an obscure path, he found the house 
deserted. Shortly afterward, a rumor was circu- 
lated that a band of stolen horses which had been 
secreted in the caves among the hills had just been 
sent down the river, and that the thieves with the 
proceeds of this sale had decamped. 

In this secluded river country the scene of this 
story is laid. Ever since the Rainsbargers held 
sway there the inaccessible region has maintained 
its mysterious privacy. To this day the steep 
slopes, thickly wooded with oaks and scattered 
birch, and the winding river walled in by a heavy 
growth of cottonwoods and grapevine tangles, which 
formed the setting for a tragic incident in the big 
drama of the Middle West, remain unchanged — 
inescapably suggestive of the Rainsbarger bandits 
and the outlaw Doones. 

The entire family of Rainsbargers — William, 
Finley, Frank, Nathan, and Emmanuel; and Wil- 



AN IOWA DOONE BAND 269 

liam's boys, George, Joe, and Jolm — were all re- 
puted to be fearless freebooters. Their reputation 
for high-handed misconduct invited accusation of 
every crime committed in the neighborhood — some- 
times perhaps unjustly. They were charged with 
such malicious offenses as cutting off cows' tails 
and hamstringing horses. They were said to steal 
cattle and horses and dispose of them at markets 
down the river. Sometimes stock was poisoned or 
brazenly driven off before the eyes of the helpless 
owner. A farmer declared that one day as he was 
picking corn, Fin Eainsbarger drove into the field, 
loaded his wagon with corn, and calmly departed. 
The outlaws had learned that it was safe to rely 
upon their reputations to prevent resistance. 

The most generally hated and feared of the 
Eainsbarger family was Fin. He was more than a 
robber. On a winter evening of 1866 in the town of 
Steamboat Eock he had stabbed and killed a man 
during a quarrel — the first murder committed in 
Hardin County. Those who witnessed the deed said 
that the victim, Charles Voiles, was intoxicated at 
the time, that he threatened Eainsbarger and his 
brother-in-law, Henry Johns, and finally struck a 
drunken blow. Like a flash, before anyone could 
intervene, the tawny-haired Eainsbarger drove a 
butcher knife into the man's heart. Convicted of 
manslaughter, in spite of the best efforts of his 
attorney, H. L. Huff, he was sentenced to the peni- 
tentiary for six years; but at the end of thirteen 



270 



THE PALIMPSEST 



months lie was pardoned because it was claimed that 
he had acted in self-defense. Later he was known 
to have been associated with several notorious out- 
laws, among whom was Enoch Johnson, the rene- 
gade father-in-law of Frank Eainsbarger. 

Some of the Eainsbargers, however, were said to 
be '^hard-working men, who had never been arrested 
or indicted for any crime or misdemeanor Wil- 
liam was president of the school board in his town- 
ship for a number of years. Probably other men of 
questionable character were guilty of some of the 
evil charged against the Eainsbargers, but the peo- 
ple of the community believed, and are still con- 
vinced, that the Eainsbargers were a family of 
criminals and villains who were chiefly responsible 
for the lawless reign of the eighties. The score of 
petty molestations attributed to them prepared the 
way for a reckoning when an offense audacious 
enough to arouse the whole community demanded 
amends. The public was ready and eager to convict 
the Eainsbargers as the embodiment of all the 
crime in Hardin County. 

In the early eighties a counterfeiting scheme was 
instituted into which were drawn many people, both 
reputable and disreputable. Enoch Johnson be- 
came an active member of the gang. It was his 
business to transfer the money made in Steamboat 
Eock to a confederate outside the State. He was 
finally apprehended, however, with a box of the 
money in his possession, arrested by Federal officers, 



AN IOWA DOONE BAND 



271 



and indicted by a grand jury of which Henry Johns 
was foreman. Frank Eainsbarger, at the entreaty 
of his wife, Nettie, went bail for the temporary re- 
lease of his father-in-law. 

There was little joy in Enoch Johnson's home- 
coming, however, for he discovered that his wife, 
Mag, had sold their household goods during his 
detention in jail. The two immediately quarrelled, 
and Johnson went to live with Frank and Nettie. 
He urged his son-in-law and Nathan Eainsbarger, 
who made his home with Frank, to take out insur- 
ance on his life. Mag Johnson was the beneficiary 
of more than one such policy already, Johnson car- 
ried some insurance in favor of Nettie, and Frank 
was induced to secure a five thousand dollar policy, 
payable jointly to himself and wife. 

Of course Johnson was not the only counterfeiter 
in the county. As soon as he was indicted efforts 
were made to persuade him to turn state's evidence 
against his confederates. The identity of other 
parties to the fraud was a mystery but there was 
reason to suspect that the Eainsbarger s were impli- 
cated more or less directly. It was hinted that per- 
haps a threat from Johnson to expose those as 
guilty as himself had been the most effective induce- 
ment for Frank to furnish bail. Yet the fact that 
Henry Johns, a relative of the Eainsbargers, took 
the lead in trying to expose the counterfeiters would 
seem to indicate that the Eainsbargers were not 
members of the bogus gang — but maybe J ohns did 



272 



THE PALIMPSEST 



not know what he was about. There is also a story 
to the effect that while Johnson was at liberty on 
bail he quarrelled with the chief of the counterfeit- 
ers who, fearing disclosure of the scheme, promised 
Johnson that if he peached there would not be 
enough left of him to feed the crows. 

On the evening of November 18, 1884, while 
driving from Steamboat Rock toward Gifford, 
Enoch Johnson was killed. When he was found, 
within a mile of Gifford, appearances indicated that 
there had been a breakdown which shattered his 
buggy and that afterward he had attempted to ride 
his horse but had been thrown and dragged for some 
distance. His body lay about a quarter of a mile 
from the buggy, the lines were wrapped around one 
leg, and his clothes were pulled over his head. 
There was blood on the horse's withers. 

The following morning Mag Johnson arrived un- 
expectedly at the home of Frank and Nettie Rains- 
bar ger. She had gone to Ackley the day before, 
where she spent the night at the Revere House with 
Joshua "West. About noon she received a telegram 
from West stating that her husband had met with an 
accident and was dead. She showed neither sur- 
prise nor sorrow at the news. 

At first the opinion prevailed that Johnson's 
death was accidental, but at the coroner's inquest 
several suspicious circumstances were revealed 
which pointed to foul play. Two days after Johnson 
was killed the sheriff, W. V. Willcox, and the coro- 



AN IOWA DOONE BAND 



273 



ner, Dr. Myron Underwood, visited the scene of the 
tragedy and found where a single horse had been 
hitched at the head of a ravine about sixty-five rods 
from the broken buggy; a few feet away the grass 
was trampled down and spattered with blood; the 
buggy had not moved after the wheel broke down; 
and a post mortem examination revealed that the 
victim's head had been fractured on both sides, 
which could scarcely have been accomplished by a 
fall from his horse. The coroner's jury decided that 

Enoch Johnson came to his death by blows inflicted 
upon the head by some blunt instrument in the 
hands of some person or persons unknown". 

So the matter stood. No arrests were made and 
Frank and Nettie Eainsbarger took steps to obtain 
their life insurance. Several times during the fol- 
lowing weeks Mag Johnson came to visit her daugh- 
ter and, after repeated persuasion, took her to 
Eldora where they made affidavits, on the strength 
of which Frank and Nate Eainsbarger were arrested 
and charged with the murder of Enoch Johnson. 

Shortly after the preliminary hearing, Henry 
Johns publicly declared his conviction that the two 
men were not guilty. He was sure that Johnson 
had been murdered to prevent him from exposing 
the gang of counterfeiters. ^^I will stay by you 
until you are cleared and the real culprits are 
brought to justice,'' he is reported to have promised 
Nate and Frank, *4f it costs fifty thousand dollars." 
The prisoners were bound over to appear at the 



274 



THE PALIMPSEST 



next term of the district court whicli would convene 
late in April, 1885. 

On the night of April 16th, while driving home 
from Abbott Station, Johns himself was shot and 
injured so that he died within three weeks. He 
recognized several of his assailants and made a 
sworn statement of their names before he died. 
This statement was filed, without having been made 
public, in the office of the county clerk at Eldora, but 
it was taken from the files and could never be found. 
Perhaps the complete solution of the whole mystery 
was thereby lost forever. It is significant that no 
one was ever indicted for the murder of Henry 
J ohns. Though Governor William Larrabee, nearly 
four years afterward, offered a five hundred dollar 
reward for the conviction of the guilty persons the 
bounty was never claimed. 

Meanwhile the Rainsbargers had secured a change 
of venue to Marshall County and Nate's trial was 
set for December 28th. Great excitement prevailed 
in Hardin County. Counterfeiting frauds were for- 
gotten while the counterfeiters undertook to allay 
suspicion of themselves by joining noisily with the 
outraged citizens to revenge the murder of Johnson 
and Johns and to exterminate the criminal element 
in the county. To that end a vigilance society was 
organized and thereafter the exploits of the vig- 
ilantes rivaled the notoriety of the outlaws. 

On the night of June 3rd Dr. Underwood, who as 
coroner had incurred the enmity of the Rains- 



AN IOWA DOONE BAND 



275 



bargers, was attacked by three or four masked men 
on a lonely road near the Iowa River. Several shots 
were fired and one bullet passed through the doc- 
tor's coat. He returned the fire. Just then two 
buggies drove up. Surprised at the sudden arrival 
of reinforcements the desperadoes disappeared 
down a ravine. The next day warrants were issued 
for the arrest of Ed Johns and William, Fin, and 
Manse Rainsbarger. Johns could not be found, 
William Rainsbarger was released on bail, while 
Fin and Manse were locked in the Eldora jail. 

Thoroughly incensed by the series of murders and 
assaults that had occurred, impatient with the delay 
and uncertainty of judicial proceedings, and deter- 
mined to inspire terror among evildoers by a strik- 
ing example of sure retribution, a mob, led no doubt 
by the vigilantes, gathered that night near Eldora, 
deliberately entered the town, battered open the 
jail with a huge tree trunk, and attacked the two 
Rainsbargers. They resisted desperately. Manse 
was shot in his cell but Fin fought his way through 
the door, only to die at the hands of the mob out- 
side. Then the lynchers dispersed unmolested, 
leaving the bodies of the two men lying in the jail 
yard riddled with bullets — a gruesome sight for 
the eyes of the curious who came the next morning 
to see them. 

The case charging William Rainsbarger and Ed 
Johns with the crime for which their alleged accom- 
plices were lynched was finally dismissed in 1889 



276 



THE PALIMPSEST 



because there was not enougli evidence against tliem 
to justify further prosecution. A sworn statement 
has since been made that the whole affair was 
planned and executed by the vigilance society, of 
which many prominent citizens were members, for 
the very purpose of arousing the public to rid the 
county of the Eainsbargers. 

It was a little over a year after the murder of 
Enoch Johnson that Nate Eainsbarger was brought 
to trial^ Of medium height and powerful physique, 
his hair black and abundant, and his eyes dark and 
piercing, he seemed none the worse for his long con- 
finement as he sat with his attorneys calmly con- 
fronting the prosecution led by H. L. Huff, the man 
who had defended his brother against a charge of 
murder twenty years before. 

The State began with the testimony of Dr. N. C. 
Morse, corroborated by Dr. Underwood, that the 
murdered man had died from wounds inflicted upon 
his head before he fell from the horse — wounds 
which might have been made by brass knuckles in 
the hands of a powerful man. A witness was found 
who had heard screams in the vicinity of the tragedy 
between eight and nine o'clock on the fatal evening. 
Others claimed to have seen Nate and Frank Rains- 
barger, identified by the light of a bonfire, as they 
drove south through Eldora about an hour before 
the screams were heard on the Gifford road. One 
man asserted that he had overheard the Eains- 
bargers plotting to put Johnson out of the way. 



AN IOWA DOONE BAND 



277 



Against this purely circumstantial evidence the 
defense undertook to prove an alibi. The Eains- 
bargers secured witnesses who had seen them in 
Cleves, about ten miles from Eldora, as late as seven 
o'clock on the day of the murder, and others, mostly 
relatives, who confirmed the declaration of Nate and 
Frank that after leaving Cleves they had collected 
some money from a neighbor for thrashing, had 
stopped at the Johns place, had later called on their 
brother Fin to get him to help husk corn, and had 
finally reached home after eleven o'clock. It was a 
plausible story but the prosecution immediately 
introduced testimony impeaching the reputation of 
the defense witnesses for truth and veracity. 

Day after day, as the trial continued, sentiment 
against the defendant increased, and the popular 
opinion that the Eainsbargers were guilty became 
more and more firmly established. It was for Nettie 
Eainsbarger, sister-in-law of the accused, to con- 
tribute the most damaging evidence of all. Pretty, 
ladylike, and composed, she made a very favorable 
impression despite her ill repute as she described 
the dramatic events on the morning following the 
murder. Mercy sakes, Nate, where did you get 
that blood?" she recalled having exclaimed. Nate 
grabbed the lapel of his coat, she related, and drew 
it over the blood spot. *^It is not blood; it is water 
or horse slobbers", he said as he rushed out of the 
room. Later she found blood on her husband's 
overcoat and mittens: it stained her finger when 



278 



THE PALIMPSEST 



she touched the spots. Then she remembered that 
Frank had taken his brass knuckles when he started 
for Cleves the previous afternoon. When she ac- 
cused the men of murdering her father they became 
very irritated and tried to make her believe that the 
horse had killed him. 

The trial lasted fourteen days. On January 13, 
1886, the jury returned a verdict of murder in the 
first degree and recommended a sentence of im- 
prisonment for life. 

During the months that followed while Frank and 
Nate lay in the Marshall County jail — the one 
awaiting trial and the other an appeal to the Su- 
preme Court — various untoward events continued 
to agitate the people of Hardin County. Joe Eains- 
barger was indicted and later he was convicted of 
malicious mischief in shooting out the eyes of cattle 
owned by a neighbor. While that case was pending 
he was arrested for shooting at a man. Released on 
five hundred dollars bail he was eventually convicted 
and served ten months in jail. In April his father 
and Ed Johns were indicted for the attack on Dr. 
Underwood, who had become State Senator in the 
meantime. During the summer the Eldora jail was 
again mobbed by the vigilantes, but this time the 
marshal succeeded in dispersing the mob. In Sep- 
tember a man who stayed with Mrs. Fin Rains- 
barger was chased out of the county for stealing a 
horse. 

Frank Rainsbarger was put on trial for the mur- 



AN IOWA DOONE BAND 



279 



der of Enoch Johnson in February, 1887, and was 
convicted on March 10th. Five days later he entered 
the penitentiary at Anamosa under a life sentence. 
While Frank's trial was in progress the Supreme 
Court reversed the decision by which Nate had been 
convicted, because Nettie Eainsbarger had been al- 
lowed to testify as to his bad character and the com- 
mission of crimes for which he was not on trial. He 
was retried in November, again convicted, and fol- 
lowed his brother into the penitentiary on December 
10, 1887. 

Meanwhile William, Joe, George, and John Eains- 
barger were arrested for assaulting a man who had 
testified against Joe in a recent trial. They nar- 
rowly escaped being lynched and were taken to 
Marshalltown for protection. Two months later 
they were acquitted. 

It was nearly twenty-eight years after Nate and 
Frank entered the penitentiary when the door of the 
prison swung open and the two men, white haired 
and prison-paled, once more breathed the air of 
freedom and walked into the sunlight not striped 
with the shadows of prison bars. For more than a 
quarter of a century they had borne the stigma of 
convicts, during all that time they had steadfastly 
maintained that they were tricked into prison to 
protect the real murderer, and by their good con- 
duct they had convinced the prison officials of their 
innocence. As the years passed the desire to avenge 
the death of their mob-murdered brothers and to 



280 



THE PALIMPSEST 



punish the people responsible for their own impris- 
onment had grown upon them. Now, as old men, 
they were free. Not qnite. Their liberty was con- 
tingent upon their not intimidating **by word or 
threat any of those who were instrumental in their 
conviction or who had opposed their release in 
past years. " They have never violated that pledge. 
Frank found employment with a construction com- 
pany in Ackley and Nate went to work in a Marshall- 
town factory. 

This is Iowa's Doone story. In vivid contrast to 
the lawless, counterfeiting days, peace and order 
now prevail in Hardin County and the turbulence of 
the eighties is only a dim tradition. And yet, in a 
narrow valley between the folds of two hills, where 
the country road is steep and tortuous and the 
bridges are old and rickety, a forgotten relic of the 
horse-stealing days may still be seen. There, half 
concealed by the cottonwoods and underbrush, is an 
old dilapidated stable. The thatched roof over a 
small dugout slopes down from the side of the hill 
and is supported by two growing trees. The door 
hangs by its rusty padlock but swings free from the 
broken hinges, and inside an old-fashioned sofa, 
with the twisted springs protruding, and the shell of 
a blue water pail evidence the necessities of an out- 
law stable guard. 

JocELYN Wallace 



Comment by the Editor 



HISTORICAL FICTION 

Historical fiction is a paradox on the face of it. 
History can not be fictitious or it ceases to be his- 
tory. Yet probably no historian has ever succeeded 
in telling the whole truth. Some facts in the annals 
of mankind are unknown and thousands of others 
are necessarily suppressed — for lack of space if 
for no better reason. On the other hand the writers 
of fiction have seldom if ever succeeded in elimi- 
nating the elements of time and place. Perhaps an 
exception should be made of some of Poe's stories, 
but a novel without a setting is inconceivable. The 
fidelity with which the novelist portrays the his- 
torical background is to a large extent the measure 
of the reality of the tale, while disregard for the 
facts of time and place is the highway to fairy-land 
and fantasy. 

Where is the boundary line between the realms of 
fact and fancy? It is not always easy to locate, but 
the best guide seems to be the purpose of the writer. 
The historian should be judged by historical stand- 
ards, while the novelist may be permitted to throw 
the graces of fiction over the sharp, hard facts that 
historians have labouriously gathered", as Ger- 
trude Atherton admits she did in The Conqueror. A 

281 



282 



THE PALIMPSEST 



novel slionld never be treated as history, for its ob- 
ject is not to teach facts bat to picture life artis- 
tically. Fiction slionld be jndged only as literature. 

THE EESPONSIBILITY OF NOVELISTS 

While it would be absurd to depend upon the 
Waverley novels for a true conception of medieval 
England or to study the Civil War in The Crisis, 
there is no denying that such books have served to 
vitalize the times with which they deal. The man- 
ners and customs of people form the warp and woof 
of the literary fabric: the plot is only the pattern. 
The setting of a novel conscientiously drawn and 
characters portrayed true to type may contribute a 
clear understanding of folks and things as they 
were; but let the book be carelessly written and a 
false impression is made which history can never 
correct. The vivid imagery of a novel can not be 
erased at will and supplanted by the dimly remem- 
bered and unrelated facts of formal history. 

It behooves the writers of fiction to have a care 
for the injustice they may do to the past and the 
harm they may cause in the present. Abbie Gardner 
Sharp maintained that the Spirit Lake Massacre 
might never have occurred if her mother had not 
obtained an erroneous notion of Indian character 
from reading ^^so much of James Fenimore Cooper 
down there in New York''. If her faith in the honor 
of savages had been founded on facts she would not 
have prevailed on her husband to admit Inkpaduta's 



COMMENT BY THE EDITOR 283 



Indians into the cabin on that fateful evening in 
March, 1857. Whether or not resistance would have 
materially altered the course of events is a question, 
but the incident is a striking illustration of the pow- 
erful influence of fiction. 

THE REALISM OF HERBERT QUICK 

Few novelists have been more faithful to facts 
than Herbert Quick in The Hawheye. The charac- 
ters are essentially true to type, the conversation is 
replete with half -forgotten colloquial expressions of 
the past generation, and the splendid descriptions 
are vivid because they are real. Some critics will 
say there are too many pages of color and complain 
of the leisurely digressions, but those who remember 
Iowa as it was in the seventies will revel in the remi- 
niscent descriptions of thrashing and corn husking, 
of gopher snaring and prairie chicken shooting, and 
of Fourth of July celebrations in the days of horses 
and buggies. The novel is redolent of the prairies 
and the people of Iowa fifty years ago. Therein is 
the charm of the book. 

Convinced of the elements of great art in Iowa 
materials, Mr. Quick has found it unnecessary to dis- 
tort the facts for the sake of sensational circum- 
stances or dramatic episodes. Many years ago he 
investigated the system of political boodle'' in 
Woodbury County and discovered, among other ir- 
regularities, that in ^^sorne cases the approaches to 
bridges were built and charged twice, once to the 



284 



THE PALIMPSEST 



road fund and once to the bridge fund. Tlie man 
who did the work got one payment and the grafters 
got the other. ' ' Compare that commentary with this 
from The Hawheye: *^Paul read the statement of a 
man who had at the request of a county supervisor, 
put in duplicate bills for making approaches to 
bridges, one bill in each case against the bridge- 
fund for the supervisor and another against the 
road-fund for himself.'' The Monterey County 
^ ^ Ring " is no myth. 

The terrific climax of the book, describing the 
lynching of Pitt and Bowie Bushy ager, is a remark- 
ably accurate account of what actually happened to 
Manse and Fin Eainsbarger in Eldora on the night 
of June 4, 1885. The Bushyagers of The Haivlceye 
are unmistakably the Eainsbargers of reality whose 
true history may be read in the story of *^An Iowa 
Doone Band". 

The Hawheye is epical. 

J. E. B. 



SEPTEMBER l'923 



CONTENTS 



The Early lowans 

Geo, F. Robeson 

A Pioneer Journey 

- J. M. D. Burrows 

Bridging the Cedar 

Bruce E» Mahan- 



Comment 



285 
301 
307 
321 



The Editor 



.Published Monthly At Iowa City By 

'THE State Hil)iflCA£ SqcieiyofIowa' 



INTERED AS SECOND CLASS HATTER JULY 28 1820 AT THE POST OFFICE AT IOWA CITT lOW* 
UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 24 1912 



THE PURPOSE OF THIS MAGAZINE 

The Palimpsest, issued monthly by the State His- 
torical Society of Iowa, is devoted to the dissemina- 
tion of Iowa History. Supplementing the other pul>- 
lications of this Society, it aims to present the materials 
of Iowa History in a form that is attractive and a style 
that is popular in the best sense — to the end that the 
story of our Commonwealth may be more widely read 
and cherished. 

BENJ. F. Shambaugh 

Superintendeni 



THE MEANING OF PALIMPSESTS 

In early times palimpsests were parchments or other 
materials from which one or more writings had been 
erased to give room for later records. But the eras- 
ures were not always complete; and so it became the 
fascinating task of scholars not only to translate the 
later records but also to reconstruct the original writ- 
ings by deciphering the dim fragments of letters partly 
erased and partly covered by subsequent texts. 

The history of Iowa may be likened to a palimpsest 
which holds the records of successive generations. To 
decipher these records of the past, reconstruct them, 
and tell the stories which they contain is the task of 
those who write history. 



PRICE — I Oc per copy: $ I per year: free to members of Society 
ADDRESS— The State Historical Society Iowa City Iowa 



The Palimpsest 

EDITED BY JOHN ELY BRIGGS 
Vol. IV Issued in September 1923 No. 9 

COPYRIGHT 1923 BY THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF IOWA 

The Early lowans 

The advisability of dividing the Territory of Wis- 
consin and erecting the Territory of Iowa was being 
discussed in Congress on June 5, 1838. Kepresenta- 
tive Charles Shepard of North Carolina, who seemed 
to be the leader of the opposition, was skeptical of 
the necessity for a new Territory and out of sym- 
pathy with the whole westward movement. Indeed, 
he was of the opinion that the desire for a new 
government west of the Mississippi came chiefly 
from those who wanted to speculate in the ^ Afresh 
and rich'' lands of the region, and from politicians 
who favored the creation of ^ ^ a batch of new offices ' \ 
But in any event, since Mr. Shepard felt constrained 
to give the project his most zealous opposition", 
some of his statements may with propriety be quoted 
as reflecting views relative to the character of the 
early settlers of Iowa. 

**But who are these", he asked, **that are dissatis- 
fied with our legislation, and pray for the establish- 



285 



286 



THE PALIMPSEST 



ment of a new Territory? Individuals who have left 
their own homes, and seized on the public land. As 
soon as Black Hawk and his warriors were driven 
from their hunting grounds, before the country was 
surveyed or a land office opened, these men pounced 
on the choicest spots, cut down the timber, built 
houses, and cultivated the soil as if it was their own 
property.'' He pointed out that, without the 
authority of law, and in defiance of the Government, 
they have taken possession of what belongs to the 
whole nation". They were the people, he continued, 
^^who require a governor and council, judges, and 
marshals, when every act of their lives is contrary 
to justice, and every petition which they make is an 
evidence of their guilt and violence. We, who are 
insulted, whose authority is trampled under foot, 
are asked for new favors and privileges ; the makers 
and guardians of the law are approached by its open 
contemners, and begged to erect these modest gentle- 
men into a dignified Government. The gravity and 
insolence of this application would excite laughter, 
if the last ten years had not presented too many 
instances of a like spirit and character ; individuals 
and masses of people in every part of this favored 
country begin to look beyond the law, to despise the 
constituted authorities, to consider their own feel- 
ings and passions as the standard of public duty, 
and too often men in high places have connived at 
their proceedings." 

The manner in which new sovereignties were ere- 



THE EARLY lOWANS 287 

\ 

ated was also described. These poachers take the 
public land, and humbly pray for the right of pre- 
emption; this yielded, they call the Government a 
step-mother, and demand various grants and im- 
munities ; then they force themselves into the Union, 
without complying with the act of Congress, and, 
reaching the climax of impudence, they boldly 
threaten to deprive the old States of all share in the 
national domain. But we are asked, what must be 
done! Twenty thousand people are living on the 
west side of the Mississippi, and the whole army of 
the United States could not drive them from their 
settlements.'' 

Mr. Shepard was prophetic in his declaration that 
if ^^the Territory of Iowa be now established, it will 
soon become a State; if we now cross the Missis- 
sippi, under the bountiful patronage of this Govern- 
ment, the cupidity and enterprise of our people will 
carry the system still further, and ere long the 
Rocky Mountains will be scaled, and the valley of the 
Columbia be embraced in our dominion. This, then, 
is the time to pause, to gather the results of previous 
experience, and to consider the influence of this 
legislation on the character of the people and the 
durability of our institutions." 

The establishment of the new Territory was also 
emphatically opposed by John C. Calhoun in the 
Senate, who, like Representative Shepard, saw the 
matter from the sectional point of view — more free 
States were not desired when the balance of power 



288 



THE PALIMPSEST 



was already against the South. Mr. Calhoun had 
heard that ^Hhe loway country had been already 
seized on by a lawless body of armed men, who had 
parcelled out the whole region, and had entered into 
written stipulations to stand by and protect each 
other, and who were actually exercising the rights of 
ownership and sovereignty over it — permitting 
none to settle without their leave, and exacting more 
for the license to settle, than the Government does 
for the land itself." 

Henry Clay of Kentucky was of a similar opinion, 
based largely upon the field notes of the surveyors of 
the Black Hawk Purchase who stated that *Hhe land 
was generally settled by armed intruders," and that 
their progress in the work was materially hindered 
^^by the opposition and threats of this description of 
persons." Mr. Clay waxed sarcastic, declaring that 
in all probability there were members in both houses 
who were ready to pronounce that **a more honest, 
deserving set of men," did not exist: these men who 
openly flouted authority and whose moral sense 
would be violated by an enforcement" of the law. 
As for himself he would like to know what pre- 
tence had these lawless men for roving about the 
country and seizing by violence on the choicest spots 
of land?" 

Mr. Clay desired that these lands be offered for 
sale and then if necessary the existing laws should 
be enforced. If need be he favored the removal of 
''these lawless intruders from the property they 



THE EARLY lOWANS 



289 



have forcibly appropriated to their own use. What 
right had they to the public domain more than any 
other description of plunderers to the goods they 
may seize uponT' Since they ^^are honest, indus- 
trious men, who are unable to give the real value for 
the goods, they have taken this natural and harmless 
method of getting possession of them." 

Not all in Congress, however, were of the same 
mind. The opposition to the creation of the Terri- 
tory of Iowa and the passage of the Preemption Act 
was easily overcome in both houses, the true charac- 
ter of the pioneers being too well known for much 
credence to be placed in the caustic remarks of 
southern statesmen. 

One of the most ardent supporters of the Iowa 
settlers was Senator Lucius Lyon of Michigan who 
was familiar with conditions in the Iowa country and 
knew the workings of the claim associations in his 
own State. He was too well impressed with the 
character of the Iowa settlers *^to believe, for a 
moment, that any person going there with the inten- 
tion of becoming an actual settler in the country 
would be treated badly by those who had gone before 
him.'' 

Senator Clement C. Clay of Alabama also took 
issue with those who maligned the settlers of the 
West. He severely criticized the Senator from 
Kentucky for picking out **some isolated cases of 
alleged resistance to the public officers, among the 
vast number of those who had settled on the public 



290 



THE PALIMPSEST 



domain". Indeed, he was of the opinion that if **a 
single individual, or even a dozen of them, in loway 
or Wisconsin, should manifest any hostility to the 
officers of the Government" it was insufficient rea- 
son for withholding the benefits of the preemption 
bill from the * * thousands of industrious and merito- 
rious claimants". 

The early settlers of Iowa were not only maligned 
by Congressmen — probably for political reasons — 
but also by others who had less opportunity of know- 
ing their real character. Charles Augustus Murray, 
a noted English traveller, wrote in 1835 that Keokuk 
was **the lowest and most blackguard place" that he 
had visited. Its population was said to be composed 
chiefly of watermen who were ^*a coarse and fero- 
cious caricature of the London bargemen, and their 
chief occupation" seemed to consist in drinking, 
fighting, and gambling". It seems that one of the 
residents was rather proud of having shot an Indian, 
saying that he would *'as soon shoot an Indian as a 
fox or an otter." The Englishman summed up the 
matter by remarking that this murderer is called a 
Christian, and his victim a heathen". At Dubuque 
the barroom **was crowded with a parcel of black- 
guard noisy miners", from whom the most experi- 
enced blasphemers might have taken a lesson. It 
may be remarked, however, that the true character 
of a people can scarcely be studied with accuracy by 
viewing the denizens of public drinking places. 

Drinking in those early days was not considered 



i 



THE EARLY lOWANS 



291 



an offense against society. As one writer put it, the 

early settlers in Iowa, as well as in other Terri- 
tories, drank a great deal of liquor. On the way to 
weddings, house raisings, and other gatherings, the 
bottle was passed liberally, and was used frequently 
during the ensuing program. With the advance of 
civilization the custom became less prevalent.'' 

When the fierce heat of the summer had produced 
an abundance of malaria, ague, chills, and fever the 
life of the pioneer was indeed miserable. Cure-alls, 
however, were usually at hand. '^Quinine was the 
standard medicine of the pioneer household for 
every known ailment, except rattle-snake bites, 
which called for whisky in generous doses. A fam- 
ily could get along very well without butter, wheat 
bread, sugar or tea, but whisky was as indispensable 
to house-keeping as corn meal, bacon, coffee, to- 
bacco, and molasses." 

It was said that upon one occasion an old settler 
ran out of this essential in the family commissary 
department, and walked ten miles to borrow a 
new supply from a good old deacon. But the 
deacon was short on groceries" himself, as there 
had recently been a wedding in the family. He was 

powerful sorry" that he could not fill his neigh- 
bor's jug — *^but you see", said he, '*I have only got 
a gallon left, and you know that won't any more 
than run our prayer meeting Wednesday night. ' ' 

Perhaps a more trustworthy picture of the early 
pioneers may be gained from a description of their 



292 



THE PALIMPSEST 



activities which reveal men of strong character and 
a law-abiding nature. It is true that the usual fron- 
tier crimes — horse-stealing, murder, and counter- 
feiting — existed, but not with tolerance. Early 
Iowa history is replete with accounts of popular 
opposition to such offenses, even prior to the estab- 
lishment of a well organized government. 

The pioneers of Iowa possessed an inherent talent 
for constitutional government, though extralegal 
methods were sometimes employed to obtain it. 
Those blackguard'' miners of Dubuque as early as 
1830 appointed a committee of five to draft the rules 
and regulations under which they were to be gov- 
erned. The meeting of these committeemen may be 
called our first constitutional convention. Further- 
more, the formation of hundreds of land clubs or 
claim associations bespeaks the early settler's de- 
sire for law and order: the desire for peace and 
orderly procedures even if he had to fight for them. 

These claim associations appear to have been very 
effective in preventing any serious trouble in the 
matter of claim-jumping, although some rather tense 
situations were produced. Following the removal of 
the Indians in 1833, hundreds of settlers immedi- 
ately flocked into the Iowa country and while each 
selected a place that suited him best, the new arrivals 
in most instances respected the premises of those 
who had preceded. "What constituted a * ^ claim ' ' was 
generally understood and, although the region was 
not legally open to settlement, *^a claim to a farm, 



THiB EARLY lOWANS 



293 



regularly established^' was held to be just as good 
for the time being, ^^as if the occupant had the Gov- 
ernment patent for it. ' ' The emigrant came into the 
country, looked around him, and, selecting a location 
that pleased him, he staked out his half section of 
land, one quarter section probably being woodland 
and the other prairie. The prospective settler then 
went to work, built a house, fenced, plowed, and 
planted a piece of ground, and his home was se- 
cure from trespass by any one whatever, until the 
Government shall think proper to prefer its claims. 

The early settlers were not greedy — they merely 
asked of the government that they be allowed to buy 
part of a section at the regular price of $1.25 an 
acre without having it exposed to public sale. * ^ This 
privilege has been considered as justly due to the 
settler, in consideration of the increased value given 
to other lands around him, at the expense of great 
toil and privation to himself. ' ' The pioneers did not 
claim the privilege of thus buying unreasonably 
large bodies of land;" only asking *^to have ex- 
tended to them the same advantages as have been 
granted to all pioneers before them". If more than 
the usual amount of land was desired they were 
ready to compete for it in the open market. 

Lieutenant Albert M. Lea's Notes on Wisconsin 
Territory, published in 1836, vividly describes condi- 
tions in the ^^lowa District". He wrote of the 
groves of oak, elm, and walnut, ^^half shading half 
concealing", the ^^neat hewed log cabins of the emi- 



294 



THE PALIMPSEST 



grants with their fields stretching far into the 
prairies, where their herds are luxuriating on the 
native grass". In discussing the character of the 
early settlers he remarked that it was ^*such as is 
rarely to be found in our newly acquired territories. 
With very few exceptions, there is not a more or- 
derly, industrious, active, pains-taking population 
west of the Alleghenies, than is this of the Iowa 
District. Those who have been accustomed to asso- 
ciate the name of Squatter with the idea of idleness 
and recklessness, would be quite surprised to see the 
systematic manner in which everything is here con- 
ducted. For intelligence, I boldly assert that they 
are not surpassed, as a body, by any equal number 
of citizens of any country in the world. ^ ' 

As to the early inhabitants of Dubuque, Lieuten- 
ant Lea and Mr. Murray paint entirely different pic- 
tures, though both wrote of conditions as they 
appeared in the summer of 1835. Indeed, Lea seems 
to have been much surprised that in a mining region, 

there should be so little of the recklessness" 
usually found in that sort of life. ^'Here is a mixed 
mass of English, French, German, Irish, Scotch, and 
citizens of every part of the United States," he 
wrote, ^'each steadily pursuing his own business 
without interrupting his neighbour. ' ' 

Lea was of the opinion that this state of affairs 
might be ''attributed to the preponderance of well- 
informed and well-intentioned gentlemen among 
them, as well as to the disposition of the mass of 



THE EARLY lOWANS 



295 



people/' In some of the older migrations it was the 
reckless in character, the desperate in fortune, or 
the bold hunter, that sought concealment, wealth or 
game''. But as far as the Iowa country was con- 
cerned, it was ^ ^ the virtuous, the intelligent, and the 
wealthy" that sought a congenial abode for them- 
selves and posterity. 

The law-abiding character of the early pioneers is 
also illustrated by the organization of a mutual pro- 
tection association among the residents of Burling- 
ton in 1833. They resolved that any person allowing 
the Indians to have whisky should forfeit all the 
whisky he had on hand, and likewise the confidence 
and protection of the association. It was also 
"Resolved; That any person harboring or protect- 
ing a refugee who, to evade justice, has fled from the 
other sections of the Union, shall be delivered with 
such refugee on the other side of the river." Those 
were stern days and severe measures were required 
in a region where regular governmental machinery 
was lacking. 

The regard of the first settlers for religion is evi- 
denced by early writings. In a little guide book on 
Iowa Territory compiled by Willard Barrows, a 
deputy United States Surveyor, and published in 
1845, the author called attention to the fact that 
although *^the peaceful sabbath bell" is not heard, 
yet 'Hhe sabbath is here, and its benign influence is 
felt in every hamlet and cottage throughout this new 
and flourishing country." While the costly ^^edi- 



296 



THE PALIMPSEST 



fices, like those which adorn our Eastern cities'* are 
not to be found, yet ''in almost every village is seen 
the humble temple, consecrated to the worship of 
Almighty God. " 

Not only were the early lowans law-abiding and 
religious ; but they admirably combined those attri- 
butes with intelligence and industry. The rapid 
development of the new region was unusual. One 
writer was positive ''that the annals of history have 
never been able to record a more rapid progress of 
settlement than here exhibited; and that, too, with 
equal intelligence, industry, and enterprise. ' ' It was 
but yesterday that ' ' our settlements were confined to 
the narrow limits along the borders of the Missis- 
sippi river; but to-day we behold the newly reared 
cabin and cultivated fields for a hundred miles in the 
interior. But yesterday, the war-whoop and scalp- 
ing-knife were the terrors of the land; but to-day, 
there is peace in all our borders, and the industrious 
farmer feeds his sheep, where the wild deer lay in 
his covert ; and to the nightly howl of the prowling 
wolf, has succeeded the familiar bark of the faithful 
house-dog. '* 

The pioneers of Iowa counted many Europeans 
among their number. Of the 192,214 inhabitants as 
recorded by the census of 1850, nearly 21,000 were of 
foreign birth; and of this number over one-half were 
English-speaking — Irish, English, Welsh, Scotch, 
and Canadian. In some instances colonies of Ger- 
mans, French, Hollanders, Hungarians, British, and 



THE EARLY lOWANS 



297 



Scandinavians settled in little communities by them- 
selves. Early in 1840, for example, a small group of 
Norwegians settled on Sugar Creek, abont twelve 
miles northwest of Keokuk. There is a statement on 
record that one of the party traded an old breech 
loading musket for a quarter section of land" while 
another secured an equal area for a yoke of oxen, 
**and thus the first Norwegian settlement in Iowa 
was founded. ' ' 

Such men as these were in truth the makers of 
Iowa. They found the vast plains a wilderness, and 
left them a veritable garden; they brought no in- 
heritance other than strong arms and willing hearts. 
Some of them were extremely religious, others de- 
cidedly atheistic; yet they had this in common — 
perseverance and daring. Possessed of a ^^faith in 
themselves and in the country which they had se- 
lected" from choice and not from necessity, '^they 
set to work building their log cabins, clearing the 
timber and tilling the soil, and year by year they saw 
their small earnings increase". Their acres multi- 
plied and their log cabins were soon given up for 
larger and more commodious houses. 

Mrs. Frances D. G-age visited Iowa in the summer 
of 1854 and contributed some Sketches on Iowa" 
to the New York Tribune, giving glowing accounts 
of the prosperity of the State with its * ^ flourishing 
new towns, springing up, as it were, by magic, be- 
tween night and morning. ' ' Her impressions of the 
inhabitants were no less flattering. ^^The people 



298 



THE PALIMPSEST 



are the strong, earnest, energetic, right-thinking and 
right-feeling people of the land. ' * The founders of 
the Commonwealth, she thought, ^^must have been 
wiser than most men, or they would not in the 
beginning have recognized all grog-shops as nui- 
sances, and have made the vendor of ardent spir- 
its liable for his own transgressions. They must 
have been more just than common men, or they 
would not at first have secured the property rights 
of the wife, and made her the joint guardian, with 
her husband, of her children. They must have been 
men more humane than common, or they would not 
have secured the homestead to the family. These 
good laws have led those of other States who wish 
to be wise, just, and humane, to become the dwellers 
of this fair land. Hence I hesitate not to say that it 
is the most moral and progressive, as well as the 
best-improved State, of its age, in all our country.*' 
The people of the East, she warned, must cease to 
think of Iowa as ^'way out West*'. Indeed, ^Hhe 
people who last year, or last week, or even day be- 
fore yesterday, left New England, New York, Penn- 
sylvania, or Ohio," she wrote, ^^with the last Harper 
or Putnam in their pocket, the last Tribune in their 
hand, the last fashion on their heads and shoulders, 
and the last reform in their hearts, are very much 
the same people in Iowa that their neighbors found 
them at home, only that a new coimtry, log cabins, 
and little deprivations call out all their latent pow- 
ers, cultivate the fallow ground of heart and feelings. 



THE EARLY lOWANS 



299 



make them more free, more earnest, more charitable ; 
in fact, expand, enlarge, and fit them all the better 
for life and its duties.'' 

• Mrs. Gage attended a political meeting at Oska- 
loosa in 1854 to hear a Free-soil nominee for Grov- 
ernor speak. There the ^^men looked just like men 
elsewhere, only they were a little more civil and 
genteel, and did not make quite so general a spittoon 
of the Court House; and I did not see one that 
leaned toward drunkenness, though the house was 
full. I went to church; fine astrals, polished walnut, 
and crimson velvet made the pulpit look like home ; 
ladies rustled rich brocades, or flitted in lawns as 
natural as life. The only point of difference that 
struck me was, that their bonnets, with a few excep- 
tions did not hang so exactly upon nothing as in the 
East ; probably because there was less of nothing to 
hang on." 

In a word it may be observed that two breeds of 
migrant men have made the West, — the seven- 
league-booters and the little-by-littler s. Early Iowa 
invited the latter class, not the former. Few pioneer 
plainsmen came far, or came with the spirit of 
rovers. Trekking from Indiana or Illinois, bent 
upon finding cheap lands, anxious to escape compe- 
tition, they sought the same chances for frontier 
fortune building which had once enriched their 
elders. Iowa was therefore a huge overflow meet- 
ing, thronged with the second generation of middle- 
Westerners. Quite naturally, then, the state lacked 



300 



THE PALIMPSEST 



the era of gorgeous desperado jollity wMcli fell to 
the farthest West/' Iowa's beginnings were rather 
commonplace: sensible folks merely came here and 
lived. ^^And once settled upon their spacious, wind- 
blown prairies, these migrant peoples so mingled 
that the resultant Iowa was not a mosaic, but an 
emulsion. Moreover, the uniformity of the prairie 
itself contributed to the uniformity of the lowans by 
destining nearly all to be farmers." 

From one point of view the character of the indi- 
vidual is the important consideration, but when 
examined from another angle ^4t is the merit of the 
mass, not the merit of the individual, the humbler, 
and for matter of that the mere brown-colored vir- 
tues, not the blazing, sporadic flashes of genius or 
prowess, that establish the real greatness of a 
people. Unrelieved industry, morality, intelligence, 
and loyalty make very melancholy material for liter- 
ary or artistic treatment ; but when your soul is bent 
upon finding a happy augury for your country's 
future, what better can you seek? Happily this 
state of Iowa, so typical of the broad, fertile, popu- 
lous valley of the upper Mississippi, stands repre- 
sentative of the bulk of our people." 

Geo. F. Eobeson 



I 

A Pioneer Journey 

In the spring of 1841 I had my means all locked 
up in produce — corn, flour, pork, and bacon — and 
I found that it would be necessary for me to realize 
early on a good portion of my stock in order to re- 
plenish my store. The spring was late that year, 
and it was well along in April before I could get a 
boat to carry me up the river. At last I found the 
steamer Smelter. Scribe Harris, the captain, said 
he was going up as far as Prairie du Chien, and I 
concluded to go with him. On our way up we went 
into Snake Hollow where I made a profitable sale. 
At Prairie du Chien I found that the fur company 
had received no spring supplies and was in need of 
provisions. During the forenoon I sold them my 
entire stock, all at fair prices, and received my pay, 
cash down, in gold and silver. A large part of the 
company funds in those days consisted of Spanish 
silver dollars. 

Captain Harris, finding the "Wisconsin Eiver very 
high, decided to take the opportunity of bringing 
down a cargo of shot from a shot tower up that 
river. Inasmuch as he might be gone a week, I was 

[This account of the experiences of J. M. D. Burrows on a trip 
from Prairie du Chien to Davenport in 1841 is adapted for The 
Palimpsest from his book, Fifty Years in Iowa. Mr. Burrows came 
to Iowa from Ohio in 1838, and until just before the Civil War was 
the most prominent merchant, miller, and meat packer in Davenport. 
— The Editor] 



301 



302 



THE PALIMPSEST 



in a qnandary as to a means of getting back to 
Davenport. Gold and silver was at a ten per cent 
premium, onr paper currency being nothing but 

wildcat" issued at Green Bay, and I was very 
anxious to be home with my money. There was no 
boat above and none expected from below, but upon 
inquiry I learned that at some Grove, about twelve 
miles from Prairie du Chien, a stage would pass 
through at three o ^clock the next day. I made up my 
mind that I would take that stage. 

The next morning after breakfast I went back to 
the fur company's office and got my silver exchanged 
for gold as far as possible. Having procured some 
strong brown paper, I went to my room, wrapped 
each piece of money separately, and did them up 
into small rolls. Each pocket was loaded with all it 
would hold and the rest I tied up in a strong hand- 
kerchief. 

At eleven o'clock that forenoon I took a lunch and 
started down the river. Three miles below I struck 
the Wisconsin Eiver which was booming high and 
seemed to run with the velocity of a locomotive. 
For half an hour, off and on, I rang the ferry bell, 
but no ferryman appeared. At last I saw that I 
would either have to go back or paddle myself over, 
so I launched the ferry canoe and shoved off. 

I had never been in a canoe before and did not 
know how to handle it, but soon found that I had to 
sit very still, flat on the leaky bottom. The canoe 
kept going round and round, and every few minutes 



A PIONEER JOURNEY 



303 



would dip some water. Meanwhile the current was 
conveying me swiftly down to the Mississippi. 

I thought I was lost. I would have given all my 
money to be safe on either shore, and why I was not 
drowned was always a mystery to me — but I sup- 
pose my time had not come. 

I noticed that as the canoe whirled around each 
turn brought me nearer to the shore. I also began 
to manage the paddle to better advantage, and 
finally touched some willows, which I caught, and 
pulled the canoe as near the shore as I could. Then 
I jumped overboard and got on dry land as soon as 
possible. After I had straightened up and let the 
water drain from my clothing I set forward again. 

About a mile farther on I came to a small creek. 
The water was fully four or five feet deep. There 
was no bridge and the stream could not be forded on 
account of the perpendicular banks. After some 
examination I saw there was no way but to jump it, 
so, choosing the narrowest place I could find, I 
pitched my bundle of money across, took a run, and 
jumped ! Just made it, and that was all. 

As I struck the edge of the bank one of my coat 
pockets gave way and fell, with its heavy contents, 
into four feet of water. I hunted up a forked stick 
and, luckily, the lining having gone with the pocket, 
soon fished it out. Making for the stagehouse as 
fast as I could go I arrived without further trouble, 
only to find that the stage had gone ! 
I then determined to make my way to Dubuque 



304 



THE PALIMPSEST 



on foot, hoping to find a boat there bonnd down 
stream. About dark I came to a cabin where I de- 
cided to stay all night. I was puzzled to know what 
to do with my money, as I might be robbed — per- 
haps murdered. My first thought was to hide it in a 
pile of brush near by, but I was afraid some one 
would see me, so I resolved to share its fate. 

On applying to the woman at the cabin for lodging 
she referred me to her husband who was at the barn, 
so I interviewed him. He said I could stay. He was 
a rough-looking man, and I did not feel very safe. 

After he had taken care of the stock we went to 
the house together. Supper was nearly ready. I 
took a seat by the fire with my bundle by my side. 
In a few minutes supper was announced and I went 
to the table, carrying my bundle with me. 

Just then two of the hardest-looking men I ever 
saw came in and sat down at the table, eyeing me 
sharply. Just as I was becoming a little alarmed 
the proprietor bowed his head and asked a blessing 
on the meal. No human being can realize what a 
feeling of relief came over me. All anxiety about 
my money and my life passed away. 

Early the next morning at the break of day I was 
on the road again, determined to reach Dubuque 
some time that night. At noon it began to rain, but 
I persevered. At sundown I reached Parsons' 
Ferry, fifteen miles above Dubuque. Being on the 
Wisconsin side it was necessary to cross there, and 
again I was troubled to arouse the ferryman. After 



A PIONEER JOURNEY 



305 



nearly an hour, however, he answered my signal and 
set me over. By this time it was pitch dark and 
raining hard, and I had fifteen miles yet to go. I 
took the middle of the road. The mnd was very 
deep, and the darkness so intense that an object 
could not be seen six inches away. 

While plodding along with my bundle in one hand 
and a big club, which I used as a cane, in the other, 
I ran against a man. Neither of us had seen the 
other. I was not a coward, but never in my life was 
I more startled than at that moment. My heart 
choked me so that I could not articulate plainly but, 
with my club raised, I stammered out, **What do 
you wantr' I realized from his mumbling and in- 
coherent reply that he was drunk, so I walked 
around him and pushed on my way. 

At eleven o'clock that night I reached Dubuque, 
having walked seventy-five miles in thirty-six hours. 
I was not acquainted in Dubuque and did not know 
where to find a hotel. After wandering about some 
time I met a man whom I asked to direct me to the 
best tavern in the place. He did so but as I did not 
know the names of the streets or their location I 
could not find the house. Tired and bewildered, I 
accosted another man. 

*^My friend,'' I said, wish to find the best hotel 
in town. I am a stranger and have been hunting 
your town over for some time, up one street and 
down another, until I have become confused. "Will 
you be kind enough to come along and show me ? " 



306 



THE PALIMPSEST 



He cheerfully did so. It was a first-rate house — 
the best I had seen above St. Louis. I had a nice, 
clean room, all to myself, and the table was well pro- 
vided. I told the landlord he need not bother to cook 
anything for me ; that although I had had nothing to 
eat since daylight, I would be satisfied with a cold 
lunch and a cup of hot coffee. On going to bed I 
gave orders not to be called in the morning unless 
there was a boat going down. 

I did not awaken until noon the next day, when my 
landlord knocked at the door and said there was a 
boat at the landing, going down. I was so sore and 
stiff I could scarcely dress myself, and had to slide 
down the banister to get down stairs. The boat was 
not scheduled to leave until three o 'clock, so I took 
dinner with my kind landlord. We got under way 
toward night, and reached home the next forenoon. 
I was so lame for ten days that it was as much as I 
could do to attend to my business. 

Such were the trials and labors of a pioneer mer- 
chant of those early days. 

J. M. D. BuBRows 



Bridging the Cedar 



Walk up South Street from Battery Park in New- 
York City late some summer evening and look 
straight ahead. Brooklyn Bridge, a gigantic cob- 
web dotted with points of light, is before you. Along 
the arched steel span of the cobweb drift the white 
lights of passing cars while the red and green lights 
of river craft float mistily beneath. There it stands 
— in its day the wonder of the world, and still, after 
forty years of service, a monument to the construc- 
tive genius of man. 

Thirty-two years before the famous Brooklyn 
Bridge was opened for traffic, a suspension bridge 
very similar in appearance to the marvelous struc- 
ture spanning the East Eiver was constructed over 
the Cedar Eiver in Iowa. But the history of the 
Cedar Eiver Suspension Bridge is a far different 
story. 

The year 1850 found Muscatine a growing river 
town of 2540 inhabitants, awake to its advantages 
as a distributing center for the inland trade. Long 
newspaper articles proclaimed the necessity of build- 
ing graded plank roads over which much of the 
produce of central Iowa would find its way to mar- 
ket. Projects such as these, it was thought, could 
not fail to pay big dividends — perhaps twenty cents 
on each dollar subscribed. To the enthusiastic 



307 



308 



THE PALIMPSEST 



boosters for Muscatine, the broad Cedar Eiver 
about ten miles to the west afforded no serious ob- 
stacle to their plans for trade expansion. It should 
be bridged. 

Accordingly, during the summer of 1850, arrange- 
ments were made with N. L. Milburn, an inventor 
and contractor from Paducah, Kentucky, to erect his 
patented suspension bridge over the Cedar. This 
structure was supposed to be much more durable 
than the Eemington arch bridge. Both Mr. Milburn 
and his bridge were recommended to other com- 
munities by Muscatine enthusiasts. 

To finance the project, the Muscatine, Washing- 
ton, and Oskaloosa Eoad and Bridge Company was 
organized. The name elicited from a local editor the 
remark, * ^ what a long tail our cat 's got ' Stock was 
sold without difficulty through personal solicitation 
to business men, townspeople, and farmers. The 
stockholders elected a board of directors and Joseph 
Bennett, one of the principal shareholders and an 
energetic supporter of the project, became president 
of the company. So completely did Mr. Milburn 
gain the confidence of the directors in his integrity 
and in the merits of his plan that he was not required 
to furnish bond but was urged to proceed with the 
construction of the bridge with all possible dispatch. 

Material for the structure was brought up the 
Mississippi River on the small steamer General 
Bern, thence up the Iowa Eiver to its juncture with 
the Cedar, and then up the latter stream to the spot 



BKIDGING THE CEDAR 



309 



designated for the erection of the bridge — a place 
nine or ten miles west of Muscatine. At this point 
the timbers and lumber were unloaded and, early in 
the autumn of 1850, Milburn and his crew began 
work. The eager stockholders and merchants looked 
forward to the early completion of the structure. 

There were some citizens in Muscatine, however, 
who had doubts about the success of the project and 
did not share the optimism of the directors. In fact, 
certain critics were outspoken in their opposition to 
the type of bridge being built. Common sense prin- 
ciples of construction should be used, they argued, 
instead of the new-fangled idea of a suspension 
bridge. Others objected to the site of the new struc- 
ture. It was a big mistake, in their judgment, to put 
the bridge any place above the junction of the Iowa 
and Cedar rivers. But the stockholders and direc- 
tors of the company were indifferent to these criti- 
cisms, and the work of construction continued. 

The Iowa Democratic Enquirer for October 19, 
1850, published an item of news which was welcome 
to both the tradesmen of Muscatine and to the farm- 
ers living west of the town. **Faemees, Ahoy! 
BEmoE!'' The item read, '^We are pleased to an- 
nounce that a strong safe temporary bridge has been 
thrown across the Cedar by Mr. Milburn at the point 
of the Suspension Bridge and until the latter is com- 
pleted, over which the farmers of that region are 
already bringing their produce. Come on. Market 
is brisk and prices high. Try us,'' 



310 



THE PALIMPSEST 



Another item in the same issne announced that the 
^ temporary bridge over Cedar at the site of the 
Suspension Bridge is strong and safe, and being on 
a level with the shore is very easy crossing. We 
were on the ground Thursday last and were struck 
with the energy with which Mr. Milburn pushes for- 
ward the work. Mr. M. is determined to make a 
good bridge a 'model bridge', even if he loses by the 
contract. ' ' 

Throughout the autumn, work on the bridge con- 
tinued and a visitor to the scene of construction in 
December, 1850, reported, ''The work is in a for- 
ward condition and going ahead with all dispatch 
compatible with its perfect combination of strength 
and durability. It now presents a most imposing 
view, and one of great interest. All were pleased 
with the appearance of the work. . . . Mr. Mil- 
burn by his polite explanations, convinced us of the 
merit of his plan.'' 

Expenses of construction mounted, however, and 
soon exceeded the original estimate so that in 
January, 1851, perturbed stockholders of the Musca- 
tine, Washington and Oskaloosa Road and Bridge 
Company held a meeting to determine what should 
be done. It was disclosed at this meeting that 
$10,000 had already been spent, that a debt of $4500 
in addition had been incurred, and that $2500 more 
had to be raised to prevent the company from losing 
all that had been invested. A spirited discussion 
ensued. Finally, resolutions were passed to issue 



BRIDGING THE CEDAR 



311 



preferred stock certificates in sums not less than 
five dollars, these shares to bear interest at ten per 
cent payable semi-annually. Principal and interest 
of this loan were to be paid out of the first tolls col- 
lected and the bridge itself was to be pledged as 
security for the loan. The stockholders of the com- 
pany were to be given ten days to advance this addi- 
tional $2500, which amounted to twenty per cent of 
the total stock already subscribed. After ten days 
any unsold stock was to be offered to the public. 
The editor of the Enquirer hoped that the stock- 
holders themselves would raise the necessary sum. 
*^Walk up gentlemen*', he urged. Although the 
majority of the stockholders had subscribed all that 
they felt able to give, the danger of losing the 
amount already invested and the hope of rich re- 
turns from tolls led them to furnish the required 
$2500. The crisis was met and construction con- 
tinued. 

Late in January, 1851, the stability of the new 
bridge was subjected to a severe test. Shortly after 
the trestle work was joined in the center, but before 
it was made secure by hogchains and bolts, a high 
wind blowing upstream carried away the scaffolding 
below and left the center span without support. Al- 
though the unsupported section deflected twelve to 
twenty inches upstream before the wind, not an inch 
did it give downward. The rest of the work stood 
firm and unmoved. Although the windstorm caused 
about forty dollars damage the company felt that 



312 



THE PALIMPSEST 



the successful test of the stability of the bridge was 
worth twice that amount. Thereafter the bridge 
stood unsupported, without staging or props. 

Other towns began to notice the new structure and 
newspapers made favorable comments. The Bur- 
lington Hawh-Eye remarked, ^'The Muscatine folks 
have flung an arch of 600 feet span across Cedar 
Eiver. The trestle work is said to be beautiful, and 
the bridge is to be one of the handsomest and the 
most substantial in the Union. Travellers from 
about pronounce the new bridge the most magnifi- 
cent structure of the kind they ever beheld.'' 

Indeed, the bridge was, in appearance, all that its 
admirers claimed. On each bank stood two high 
square towers reaching ninety feet above the sur- 
face of the river. These towers were five feet square, 
each side being the width of four logs which had 
been squared and bolted one to another with big 
iron bolts. The logs, perhaps twenty feet long and 
over a foot square, were of tough, hewn oak and 
were placed end to end, jointed at the middle of the 
adjoining log. The bases of these towering piers 
were sunk in the ground on the banks almost as deep 
as the bed of the river but no stone was used in the 
foundation to make them more secure. Between 
each pair of towers extended heavy, six by six inch 
cross braces high enough above the road so as not to 
interfere with travel. Heavy wire cables supported 
the driveway of the bridge, which was twenty-one 
feet wide at the piers and narrowed to twelve feet 



BRIDGING THE CEDAR 



313 



in the middle. The driveway spanned the river in a 
graceful arch, high enough in the center to allow the 
small steamboats to pass under. The wire cables 
came together in bundles at the top of the square 
towers then extended downward toward each bank 
and were fastened to logs buried several feet in the 
ground as* anchors. Long approaches on trestle 
work sloped up to the twin towers on either side, 
joining the driveway at a point fifteen feet above 
the bank of the river. On each side of the long 
approaches was a plain wooden railing while an 
ornamental railing of wooden cross-pieces extended 
along the sides of the high arched driveway. In- 
cluding the approaches, the total length of the struc- 
ture was said to be twenty-one hundred feet and the 
span between the piers was six hundred and fifty- 
seven feet. All who saw the bridge praised the 
beauty of its design and marvelled at its strength. 

By April 3, 1851, the work was so nearly finished 
that the president of the company, Joseph Bennett, 
rode across on horseback, the first man to cross in 
that fashion, but he had to turn back without landing 
on the west bank of the river because of the uncom- 
pleted condition of the approach. 

During the night of April fourth, twenty-four 
hours after Bennett's triumphal ride on the bridge, a - 
terrific storm of rain and wind swept down the Cedar 
Valley. Lightning revealed the swaying, swishing 
branches of trees. Suddenly, there came a heavy 
rumble, a ripping, wrenching crash, and the Cedar 



314 



THE PALIMPSEST 



River Suspension Bridge, the pride of Muscatine and 
the envy of other river towns, fell with a tremendous 
splash into the swirling waters below. The long 
arched span first parted in the center, then each half 
swinging around before the wind pulled the towers 
from their fastenings in the earth. The hogchains 
held firm and the whole structure tumbled into the 
river. 

Great was the consternation among the stockhold- 
ers when the news reached them. What was to be 
done! Milburn, it seems, confident that his task on 
the Cedar was drawing to successful completion, had 
gone to Keosauqua to begin work on another bridge. 
The Iowa Democratic Enquirer aired its views on 
the subject in the following item : *^Our citizens were 
startled from their propriety on Saturday last by the 
news of the fall of the Suspension Bridge over Cedar 
River. It was like a shower on a stand up shirt 
collar to their hopes and calculations. The ther- 
mometer of public spirit stood at a low figure, and 
many feared that no degree of enthusiasm for any 
future project, could raise the mercury of individual 
liberality to the giving point. But subsequently 
upon a calm view of the calamity, it has lost more 
than half its horrors — though it is still regarded as 
a great triumph by that class of mushroom prophets, 
— ^ birds of ill omen' — who, after every disaster, 
cock up their eyes, and with a toss of the head side- 
wise exclaim, *ah, ha, I told you so!' The sensible 
view of the subject is that it's down, and can't be 



BRIDGING THE CEDAR 



315 



helped — it must Go Up Again, stronger and better, 
and that is a fact. The individual who supposes or 
teaches that Muscatine cannot recover from the loss 
of $15,000 in a bridge, or that such a loss will dis- 
courage the public spirit of an intelligent com- 
munity, should be tapped for the ^ simples ' — and the 
man who has any interest in the city, and will now 
lay his hand on his pocket, and declare that ^they've 
got the last cent they 11 get from me!' should go 
straight to Bevard and order a pork barrel, that he 
may be headed up in it — he can receive all the food, 
air and light he needs through the bung hole.'' 

Following this outburst against the calamity 
howlers the editor proceeded to describe the appear- 
ance of the wreck. The timbers of the towers were 
shivered somewhat and the ornamental trestle work 
of the arched span was smashed in some places, but 
for the most part the structure was but little broken. 
Although nearly two-thirds of the plank flooring had 
floated down the river most of it was caught and 
landed at various points below. The inclined ap- 
proaches at each end were uninjured. The disaster 
proved, thought the writer, that the bridge was 
strong enough to resist any amount of perpendicular 
weight but that it needed some lateral support to 
hold it against high winds. 

The editor argued that it would do no good to 
grumble about the errors of the builder or to com- 
plain about the carelessness of the directors in not 
requiring him to give bond. * ^ The bridge must be re- 



316 



THE PALIMPSEST 



erected and made to stand,'' lie insisted. ^*We have 
the material for which our money has been paid, — 
the timbers are ready to be again pnt together. 
What has been done has cost $15,000. From three to 
five thousand more will make it right and secure 
against the loss of the whole amount invested and 
last, though not least, the bridge is necessary for the 
prosperity of Muscatine and when completed as it 
should be will pay a handsome dividend to the stock- 
holders. Those who think the means cannot be had 
should learn that it will not do to estimate other 
men's good sense and liberality by their own. The 
sum necessary can and will be forthcoming — a 
gentleman who lives beyond the bridge and has now 
no stock, declared on the ground Sunday, that he 
was ready to subscribe to put it up again. We heard 
one citizen in town who has no stock, say yesterday 
that he was ready to subscribe, and one other who 
has five shares, that he was ready to take four more. 
The money can and must be raised — if not one way 
it must be another — the bridge must and will go up 
— go up on common sense principles and under 
bonds from the contractor. The City of Muscatine 
is able to build a dozen such bridges, and this mis- 
fortune will only call forth her energies. We hope 
the directors will take the necessary steps to raise 
the means to put the bridge up as it ought to be. It 
won't do to stand still now." 

Spirited discussion marked the meeting of the 
directors of the bridge company following the dis- 



BRIDGING THE CEDAR 



317 



aster. The sentiment expressed by the editor pre- 
vailed, however. The board resolved that the bridge 
shonld be repaired and, as soon as they could hear 
from Milbnrn as to what he would and could do in 
the matter, they proposed to push the work forward 
rapidly. 

Long articles from stockholders in the bridge com- 
pany and others interested in the project appeared 
in the Iowa Democratic Enquirer. ^*The bridge on 
the upper route is down," wrote one enraged share- 
holder. *^We should bridge the Iowa below the 
mouth of the Cedar. About $20,000 will build a good 
bridge. None of your Milburn bridges." 

Another contributor, signing his name Musca- 
tine", was moved to remark, ' ' The bridge has fallen ; 
and with it has fallen the countenances of all who 
were interested in its successful completion. This is 
a great calamity which falls heaviest upon the direc- 
tors of the bridge company. Many are heaping 

(odium upon them for not having Mr. Milburn under 
bonds, so that in the event of the bridge proving a 
failure, as it has, the stockholders would suffer no 
loss. But this is no time to curse the fruits of the in- 
discreet or fall into sulky melancholy and refuse to 
go forward with the improvements necessary for the 
good of our io^m. This misfortune should only 
incite us to greater caution and renewed energy and 
determination in going forward with this work. 
Now is the time to form a new bridge company and 
build a bridge on good common sense principles 



318 



THE PALIMPSEST 



below the forks of the Cedar and Iowa where the 
bridge should have been built in the first place. ' ' 

One of the stockholders felt that any rational be- 
ing might have known that such a heavy structure 
could not stand without better support. He recom- 
mended that if the present company did not choose 
to rebuild the bridge, they should hand it over to the 
mayor and city council of Muscatine who with the 
assistance of the marshal might make it stand by the 
force of a city ordinance. Then in a more serious 
vein he admitted that all the money of Muscatine 
had not gone down the Cedar River and that he for 
one was willing to re-subscribe for as much stock as 
he had originally. 

What did Milburn propose to do? News of his 
opinions and plans was eagerly sought. Late in 
April, word came from him that he would return to 
Muscatine in a short time to restore the bridge. He 
expressed his conviction that it could be reerected 
and rendered durable and secure. This information 
raised the hopes of the directors who forthwith 
dispatched a special messenger to confer with him 
at Keosauqua. 

A few days later, however, came the disturbing 
news that Milburn would not return to reerect the 
bridge. He was reported to have said that his con- 
tract at Keosauqua prevented his leaving there and, 
moreover, that he had lost confidence in the suspen- 
sion type of bridge for the Cedar Eiver, on accouni 
of the length of the span and its location. 



BRIDGING THE CEDAR 



319 



This report was a sad blow to every shareholder. 
What should be done? Some proposed that a bridge 
should be built from trestle work to trestle work, 
supported by strong abutments with a pier in the 
river and a draw section over the channel. Others 
favored the suspension type of bridge and wished 
to proceed with the replacement of the fallen span. 
Still others wanted to sell or assign the stock to a 
company which would guarantee to erect the bridge. 
They believed that the lure of fifteen or twenty per 
cent in tolls would attract a reputable company if the 
stockholders would agree to sell. No agreement 
could be reached. 

Later in the month of May the report reached 
Muscatine that Milburn had changed his mind and 
that, if the directors would support him, he would 
raise the bridge and make it a permanent structure. 
Again hopes mounted, and confidence was nearly 
restored when Milburn further asserted that the 
bridge could again be placed upon its abutments at 
small expense and could be made secure against 
storms by means of suitable lateral fastenings. 

Milburn did return to Muscatine toward the mid- 
dle of June, 1851, considerably nettled by newspaper 
criticism of his conduct as a contractor. He threat- 
ened to hold the editor of the Iowa Democratic En- 
quirer personally responsible, but the editor advised 
him not to let his angry passions rise and refused to 
retract any of his statements. After a few days 
Milburn left Muscatine, promising to return soon 

I 



320 



THE PALIMPSEST 



and make definite arrangements for the reerection 
of the bridge. 

Apparently he never returned. The wreck was 
finally sold late in the autumn of 1851 to Joseph 
Bennett who planned to rebuild the structure during 
the coming spring. In the meantime, however, rail- 
roads became the all-absorbing topic and attention 
was focused on the project of securing a line through 
Muscatine to Oskaloosa. The Cedar Eiver Suspen- 
sion Bridge was forgotten, but for many years its 
rotting timbers and rusting cables remained — mute 
monuments to the soaring ambitions of Muscatine 
merchants and the wrecked hopes of the farmers to 
the west. 

Bbuce E. Mahan 



Comment by the Editor 

THE DEMOCRACY OF PIONEERING 

Whatever the social and political opinions of the 
American colonists may have been, their descend- 
ants have for a century or more been pledged to the 
idea of democracy. Nor has the concept of democ- 
racy been confined to popular government. The 
meaning of the term has been expanded from the 
strict construction of the Greek root words to in- 
clude social and economic conditions. Democracy 
has become a shibboleth of the American people. 
The reason for this lies not so much in the general 
acceptance of a well-reasoned theory as in the force 
of circumstances. 

Where social inequality exists, government by the 
people is either nominal or impossible; but where 
every man lives on the same plane as his neighbor, 
where all are engaged in a common enterprise, and 
where there is no distinction of race or class or 
creed, there democracy is inevitable. Probably 
never in the history of the world were conditions 
better adapted to obliterate social, economic, and 
political differences than in the settlement of the 
Mississippi Valley. When the hardy American 
frontiersmen crossed the AUeghenies and centered 
their attention solely upon the conquest of the conti- 



321 



322 



THE PALIMPSEST 



nent they created conditions which preordained the 
establishment of democratic institutions. While 
other factors contributed to the democratization of 
American politics in the era of Andrew Jackson and 
Henry Dodge, the life of the pioneers was the most 
potent influence of all. 

The men and women who filtered into the Ohio 
Valley and spread westward to the Missouri, who 
established settlements, subdued the wilderness, 
and compelled obedience to the laws of God and man 
faced more perils than Ulysses in all his wander- 
ings. They came of their own free will, impelled by 
no political or religious incentive and leaving no 
grievance behind; they sought new homes and a 
chance to shape their own destiny; and, inspired 
with the zeal of creating, they founded a dozen 
Commonwealths. Hard work, privation, danger, a 
common occupation, and absolute equality of oppor- 
tunity were the character-building conditions in the 
life of the pioneers — conditions admirably suited 
to inspire faith in democracy. Indeed, democracy is 
the very essence of such a life. 

Pioneering is not only inherently democratic but 
it develops the very qualities of citizenship which 
make democracy successful. Honesty, justice, and 
intelligence are at once the prime virtues of good 
government and the stock in trade of the pioneers. 
For shrewd common sense, keen judgment, and 
broad understanding the early settlers in the Great 
Valley have seldom if ever been excelled, while the 



COMMENT BY THE EDITOR 323 



claim associations and extralegal courts are elo- 
quent testimonials of their innate sense of justice. 
The absence of locks and the hearty hospitality for 
neighbor and stranger alike bespeak their own re- 
gard for common honesty. Self-reliance, courage, 
and resourcefulness — all important elements in the 
art of governing — are also equally descriptive of 
prominent traits in the character of the winners of 
the West. 

Being accustomed to social equality and com- 
munity cooperation, fixed in the habit of self-deter- 
mination, and richly endowed with the principal 
qualifications for good government, the pioneers 
naturally claimed for themselves extensive partici- 
pation in politics. They revolutionized political 
practice. What wonder that democracy is an Amer- 
ican watchword. It is the experience of the race. 

J. E. B. 




CONTENTS 



Kell/s Army 325 

Donald L. McMurry 

Li^tenant Jefferson Davis 346 

- - Dorothy MacBride 



Comment 



The Editor 



358 



Published MoNTHCf At lowACrnr By 
^1^HE SAfEHlSfoici SOCIEIYOFIOWA 



ENTERED A3 SECOND CLASS MATTER JULY 2S 1920 AT THE POST OFFICE AT IOWA CITY fOWA 
UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 24 1912 




THE PURPOSE OF THIS MAGAZINE 

The Palimpsest, issued monthly by the State His- 
torical Society of Iowa, is devoted to the dissemina- 
tion of Iowa History. Supplementing the other pub- 
lications of this Society, it aims to present the materials 
of Iowa History in a form that is attractive and a style 
that is popular in the best sense — to the end that the 
story of our Commonwealth may be more widely read 
and cherished. 

BENJ. F. Shambaugh 

. Superintendent 



THE MEANING OF PALIMPSESTS 

In early times palimpsests were parchments or other 
materials from which one or more writings had been 
erased to give room for later records. But the eras- 
ures were not always complete; and so it became the 
fascinating task of scholars not only to translate the 
later records but also to reconstruct the original writ- 
ings by deciphering the dim fragments of letters partly 
erased and partly covered by subsequent texts. 

The history of Iowa may be likened to a palimpsest 
which holds the records of successive generations. To 
decipher these records of the past, reconstruct them, 
and tell the stories which they contain is the task of 
those who write history. 



PRICE — 10c per copy: $1 per year: free to members of Society 
ADDRESS — The State Historical Society Iowa City Iowa 



The Palimpsest 

EDITED BY JOHN ELY BRIGGS 
Vol. IV Issued in October 1923 No. ID 

COPYRIOHT t»2» BY THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF (OWA 

Kelly's Army 

The Populist movement of the early nineties was 
an attempt of the discontented to better their condi- 
tion. Farmers enrolled themselves among the down- 
trodden because the prices of crops were low and 
mortgages were too common, and industrial laborers 
felt oppressed because wages were small and jobs 
were scarce. They all wanted more money and bet- 
ter times. Various prophets of this discontent arose 
and preached their panaceas among the people. 
Perhaps the strangest of the many peculiar move- 
ments connected with the Populist uprising was the 
plan formulated and translated into action by Jacob 
S. Coxey of Massillon, Ohio, to relieve the suffering 
from unemployment. 

On the chilly Easter Sunday of March 24, 1894, 
Coxey 's army of the unemployed began its march on 
Washington, with the intent to present itself as a 
living petition to Congress for half a billion dollars 



325 



326 THE PALIMPSEST 

of paper money, to be expended in building good 
roads throughout the country, thus giving work to 
the workless at the rate of a dollar and a half for 
an eight hour day. The novelty of the scheme; 

General'^ Coxey's business reputation; and the 
exploits of some of the freaks who accompanied the 
expedition attracted nation-wide attention. The 
organization was christened * ' The Commonweal of 
Chrisf , a title derived from the /Hheosophy'^ of 
the picturesque and versatile Carl Browne, a labor 
agitator, cartoonist, and religious crank who had 
converted Coxey to his faith and who was the mar- 
shal of the army. 

The Commonweal arrived in Washington on the 
first of May, 1894. Coxey had boasted that a hun- 
dred thousand unemployed would be there to stage 
a great demonstration on the Capitol steps, but he 
arrived with a scant five hundred. After a disturb- 
ance on the Capitol grounds in which Browne and a 
number of spectators were clubbed by the police, 
Coxey, Browne, and Christopher Columbus Jones, 
the leader of a contingent from Philadelphia, were 
arrested, fined, and imprisoned for walking on the 
grass and for carrying banners on the Capitol 
grounds contrary to the law. 

This fiasco did not put an immediate end to the 
army of the unemployed as had been expected. 
Coxey 's army camped on the outskirts of Washing- 
ton, awaiting reinforcements. It was evident be- 
fore the Commonweal had reached Washington that 



KELLY'S ARMY 



327 



its marcli had started a movement. The newspapers 
had seized upon the story and had treated the public 
to a great deal of amusement at the expense of 
Coxey and his outfit, and incidentally they had given 
the Commonweal an enormous amount of free adver- 
tising. 

While Coxey was advancing upon Washington, 
various ^ industrial armies" were organizing in 
many cities to go to the Capitol and petition Con- 
gress. As they proceeded eastward they were fed 
because people sympathized with them or because it 
was the easiest way to get rid of them ; they stole or 
borrowed trains when the railroads refused to carry 
them; and they were thus able to cover long dis- 
tances before they were arrested or compelled to 
seek other methods of travel. Strict discipline was 
imposed by their elected leaders and while they 
were, on the whole, remarkably well-behaved and 
orderly, they caused much apprehension, and police, 
marshals, militia, and even the regular army were 
kept busy protecting railroad property and re- 
assuring nervous citizens. 

The largest, and in many respects the most inter- 
esting of these industrial armies, was the one piloted 
across the continent from San Francisco to Wash- 
ington by General Charles T. Kelly. It attained its 
greatest numbers and the height of its popularity 
in western Iowa. 

Early in April, 1894, the mayor of San Francisco 
paid the ferry passage of six hundred unemployed 



328 



THE PALIMPSEST 



men across the bay to Oakland. There Kelly took 
command and the men were fed, quartered in a large 
building known as the Tabernacle, and finally crowd- 
ed into a freight train and shipped east. At Sacra- 
mento, where the army increased to a thousand men, 
a special train was provided to carry them over the 
Southern Pacific to Ogden, Utah. But Ogden did not 
want them and, after several days of excitement, the 
army marched out of the city escorted by cavalry. 
A Union Pacific train was captured (apparently 
with the connivance of Union Pacific officials who 
hoped in this manner to avoid responsibility for 
leaving the men at the other end of the line), and 
thus the army proceeded to Omaha. 

While Kelly's freight cars were rolling toward the 
Missouri Eiver the people of Omaha and Council 
Bluffs, fearing the approach of what they believed 
to be an army of tramps and desperate characters, 
became more and more alarmed. But when the train 
pulled into Omaha on Sunday morning, April 15th, 
the appearance and perfect discipline of the army 
helped to allay popular apprehension. The people 
of Omaha were further relieved when Kelly and his 
followers crossed the river to Council Bluffs. 

If the Union Pacific was eager to pass the army 
on, the railroads that extended eastward from 
Council Bluffs were equally anxious to avoid receiv- 
ing it. On Saturday, Judge N. M. Hubbard, attor- 
ney for the Chicago and Northwestern, had called 
upon Governor Frank D. Jackson at Des Moines to 



KELLY'S ARMY 



329 



ask protection for the railroads at Council Bluffs. 
The Governor also received a telegram from the 
sheriff of Pottawattamie County, which announced 
that Kelly's army was expected and that the rail- 
roads were demanding protection. 

The Governor at once set out for Council Bluffs 
on a special train. Shortly after his arrival that 
evening he canvassed the situation with the Attorney 
General, the agents of the railroads, the mayor of 
Council Bluffs, and the sheriff of the county. The 
seven companies of militia, which had already been 
instructed to hold themselves in readiness, were 
called out, but at midnight the Governor announced 
that no effort should be made *^to prevent landing 
of the pilgrims on Iowa soiP', and that the troops 
would be used only to preserve order. 

Kelly's army arrived in Council Bluffs before 
noon on Sunday. The men stayed near their train 
and built fires of old ties which had been distributed 
along the track for that purpose. Many, worn with 
fatigue from the journey, slept on the damp ground. 
Three hundred militiamen were encamped a few 
hundred yards away, but the industrial army was 
under no restraint except that imposed by the moral 
effect of the presence of these troops and by their 
own discipline. "While here'', said a dispatch to 
the Iowa State Register^ *'they roamed at will over 
the city, and not an act was committed that was not 
praiseworthy." 

It was estimated that thirty thousand people came 



330 



THE PALIMPSEST 



to see the army during its first day in the city. The 
impression that it had a serions purpose was 
strengthened by its manifestations of religious zeal 
on that Sunday afternoon. After dinner wrote 
a newspaper reporter, ^Hhe army gathered into 
little knots and religious services were conducted in 
half a dozen places at once. Prayers were offered 
up by the men so earnest and full of touching pathos 
that tears were brought to the eyes of hundreds of 
people. The religious element seems strongly to 
predominate, and when some good old Methodist 
hymn was started it was carried through by hun- 
dreds of voices that appeared to be well trained for 
congregational singing." Kelly boasted that there 
was not a tramp or a drunkard in the army, and that 
three-fourths of his men were mechanics. The re- 
port that on the first day in Council Bluffs only one 
hundred and fifty-five recruits were accepted out of 
several hundred who applied, indicates that some 
discrimination was used in admitting members into 
the organization. 

On Monday afternoon the army, in a column 
nearly half a mile long and headed by several wagon 
loads of donated provisions, marched to the Chau- 
tauqua grounds three or four miles east of the city. 
The militia followed. The next day there was a cold 
rain, with flurries of snow : the industrials stood wet 
and shivering in the mud where they had spent the 
night. On top of Chautauqua Hill was an amphi- 
theater, a large unused building which might have 



KELLY'S ARMY 



331 



afforded ample shelter, but part of the militia had 
encamped in it, and the officer in charge, nervously 
apprehending a disturbance if the industrials got 
too close to his men, refused to admit the unfortu- 
nate Kellyites. The owner of the building, however, 
took pity upon the men who, after a night in the 
mud and a day in the rain, were suffering acutely. 
He went to a lawyer's office and had a permit drawn 
up which allowed them to use the building for forty- 
eight hours if they built no fires there. When the 
sheriff received the permit at the chautauqua 
grounds he discovered that it had been dated the 
15th instead of the 17th, and the time had expired 
before it began! He was unable to persuade the 
officer in charge of the building to admit the suffer- 
ing men, and the militiamen boasted that they 
would shoot if the Kellyites attempted to come in out 
of the storm.'' 

This inhumane treatment of the men, for whom 
much sympathy had already been aroused, caused 
great indignation. A committee of citizens de- 
manded that the Governor withdraw the troops. 
The Governor blamed the sheriff, saying that the 
militia was under the sheriff's orders when it was 
sent to the chautauqua grounds. He soon took 
the companies out of the sheriff's hands and re- 
lieved them from duty. Much of the popular 
resentment was directed against the railroads, which 
were held responsible for the militia being called out, 
while Judge Hubbard was the object of general 



332 



THE PALIMPSEST 



execration on account of Ms alleged declaration that 
if the industrials captured a train a wild engine 
should be sent down the track to wreck it and thus 
settle the whole problem. 

On Wednesday night in Omaha at a great mass 
meeting in the public square Kelly told the story of 
his army and explained that the aim of his men 
*'was to impress the government at Washington as 
mere petitions would not, and that the government 
might understand and appreciate the condition of 
the multitude of laborers and devise some measures 
of relief.'^ He did not suggest any definite pro- 
gram of legislation — perhaps he had none worked 
out as yet — but he expressed a sort of mystical 
faith in the willingness and ability of Congress 
to do v/hat was necessary when his army called 
attention to the need for it. * * When we reach Wash- 
ington", he said, *^and present our living petition 
to Congress — a petition that cannot be pigeonholed, 
referred, or put in the waste-basket — something 
must happen. You ask me. What will we do? My 
answer is : What will the other fellows do? Do you 
not think that in California tonight there are thou- 
sands of women and children kneeling by their bed- 
sides, praying to God for the success of the Indus- 
trial Army? So long as these prayers are ascending 
we will not turn back, nor will we abandon our 
purpose." 

Meanwhile efforts were being made by Governor 
Jackson and the mayors of the two cities to induce 



KELLY'S ARMY 



333 



the railroads to carry the army to the Mississippi, or 
to Chicago, and they offered to pay the cost of run- 
ning the trains. But the railroads did not want to 
set a precedent that would encourage other bodies of 
unemployed to move eastward. They also feared 
the displeasure of the people of Illinois, and they 
asserted that they had no right to carry men without 
means of support into that State. 

Matters began to come to a head on Thursday, the 
19th. At a workingmen's meeting in Omaha that 
night it was decided to march to Council Bluffs and 
apply to the railway managers for a freight train. 
On Friday morning a large body of laboring men 
with drums, fifes, and flags marched across the river 
and joined the crowd already gathered before the 
Grand Hotel. Ten thousand people were there — 
about half from Omaha and half from Council 
Bluffs. The situation began to look ominous. The 
railroads pulled their engines and cars out of town, 
and all train service was cut off. The Governor, the 
mayor, leaders of the army, and a committee of citi- 
zens conferred. The railroads unanimously declined 
to accept anything less than regular fares, amount- 
ing to about $15,000, which was too expensive. Part 
of the mob captured an engine and some cars, but 
the engine was cut loose by its crew and run into a 
roundhouse. The Eock Island agent dispatched a 
section boss to tear up the track to prevent the pas- 
sage of a train, but Kellyites persuaded the section 
hands to quit work and replaced the rail that had 



334 



THE PALIMPSEST 



been removed. The Milwaukee tracks were torn up 
at Neola. 

In the meantime the army started to walk to 
Weston, a few miles away. A captured engine and 
some freight cars were run out to the camp at 
Weston, but Kelly was too conscientious or too wary 
to accept the train. He refused, he said, to break 
the law and put his army in the wrong by accepting 
a stolen train, and besides, he feared some trick. He 
declined an invitation to ride back and accept the 
hospitality of Council Bluffs, but he used the train 
to send back his sick, of whom there were a consider- 
able number after the exposure on the chautauqua 
grounds. On Saturday, some Omaha trade unionists 
again invaded Council Bluffs, looking for a train, 
but they found nothing except a few Union Pacific 
switch engines and flat cars. By Sunday the excite- 
ment had subsided. 

While these events were transpiring the army was 
growing : at Weston the enrollment reached nineteen 
hundred, and fully fifteen hundred men were in line 
when the column started eastward across Iowa. The 
march became a continuous ovation. Farmers came 
as far as twenty-five miles to see the army and to 
bring provisions. The Woodmen of the World, who 
had lodges in most of the towns along the route, fur- 
nished teams and wagons to carry the provisions 
and the sick. Advance agents, representing the 
Knights of Labor, the Central Labor Union of 
Council Bluffs, and the Nebraska Federation of 



KELLY'S ARMY 



335 



Labor, preceded the army and made arrangements 
for its entertainment. 

On the road between Council Blnffs and Weston a 
yonth from the Pacific Coast by the name of Jack 
London fell into the rear rank of the column. He 
had quit shoveling coal for $30 a month to join the 
industrial army, but he had missed it at Sacramento 
and had pursued it on blind baggages, on the trucks 
of freight cars, and otherwise, until he finally caught 
up. He was not yet known as a writer, but he kept 
a diary of his journey with Kelly from Weston to 
Hannibal, Missouri. ^^It was circus day when we 
came to town'', he wrote, **and every day was circus 
day, for there were many towns. Sure; they en- 
joyed it as much as we. We played their local nines 
with our picked baseball team; and we gave them 
better vaudeville than they'd often had, for there 
was good talent left in some of the decayed artists of 
the army!" Before he reached Des Moines his 
shoes were so worn that he found himself walking 
on eight blisters and more coming", so he dropped 
out of the ranks to pick up a ride with a farmer. 

In view of Kelly's lack of any military training 
his discipline, as it was described by those who saw 
it, was remarkable. The army consisted of thirteen 
companies, each with a captain, a lieutenant, and 
two sergeants. His men could form a column of 
fours with precision, and they could march in a very 
creditable manner, although on the long marches no 
attempt was made to keep them in formation. But 



336 



THE PALIMPSEST 



it was in the camp arrangements that Ms organizing 
ability showed best results. A correspondent of the 
Chicago Tribune described them as follows : 

*^Once the camp is reached .... things 
move along at a lively rate. The first to arrive seize 
their axes and make for timber. There are good 
woodchoppers among them, and little time is re- 
quired to cut enough for the night. Each company 
carries its share to its camp circle, and almost before 
it can be realized the commissary has served the 
rations, and big juicy steaks are frying in pans on 
fire beds of live coals. There is no confusion over 
this work and the men are not permitted to quarrel 
over camp locations or supplies. After supper 
guards are placed, with a relief every two hours, 
and no man is allowed to leave the grounds without 
a pass. The town authorities are requested to ar- 
rest all men not supplied with these passes .... 
In breaking camp everything is done in a methodical 
way. Only a few minutes are required to clean, roll, 
and tie up everything. A wagon comes up, when 
there are wagons, and each company loads its blan- 
kets and pans, falls in behind, and takes up the 
march. If there is a sick man in the company, he 
rides. When the grounds are deserted there isn't 
even a pin to be found. Only the smouldering fires 
tell the tale.'' 

The army maintained its own * intelligence ser- 
vice". Men spied upon the railroads and former 
telegraph operators listened in on the messages at 



KELLY'S ARMY 



337 



the stations when they got a chance. But one night 
two sleuths of a very different variety camped with 
the army and tramped twenty- two miles with it the 
next day. William E. O'Bleness, Iowa State Labor 
Commissioner, and his clerk joined the army in dis- 
guise, at the suggestion of Governor Jackson, to 
find out what it was like. They reported that they 
had started with little respect for the men, though 

thinking the leaders were well meaning but mis- 
guided zealots.'' They returned with their opinions 
reversed: they were satisfied that the majority of 
the men composing the ^army' were men who would 
work if they had an opportunity; and that, chi- 
merical as the movement was," the rank and file 
believed in it. * * The men ' ', they decided, ' ' could not 
be properly classed as tramps or vagrants, as these 
terms are commonly understood, although they had 
no means of support either visible or prospective 
other than the charity of the public, and their band- 
ing together made their continued presence in any 
community both a burden and a menace." The 
leaders were considered thorough frauds, fakers, 
and schemers for their own selfish ends." 

A ^*war correspondent" for the Des Moines 
Capital^ who viewed the whole affair as *'a piece of 
monumental folly", expressed more cynical views. 
The creed of the army he stated in the words : **We 
do not intend to starve, nor do we intend to work, 
and we do not intend to walk unless we cannot help 
it ... . We are getting along so well that we 



338 



THE PALIMPSEST 



have been led to wonder why this plan of civilization 
had not been thought of before. ' ' The army had the 
sympathy of laboring men, and the honest farmers 
who furnished food had been impressed by the sing- 
ing and flag waving. The result, he concluded, was 
that no one could criticise the industrials without 
criticising those who indorsed the movement, and 
this shut the mouths of politicians who wanted the 
labor vote. 

At Avoca, Kelly gave a representative of the As- 
sociated Press a more definite statement of the 
demands of his army than had been hitherto ex- 
pressed. The principal item was a scheme for put- 
ting the unemployed to work on projects for the 
reclamation of arid lands. By the time the work 
was completed, he thought, the workers could have 
saved enough to carry them through a year of farm- 
ing on the lands that they had reclaimed, thus 
developing **from homeless wanderers into steady 
farmers and property owners." ^^If we can only 
get to Washington", he said, *4f we can let the law- 
makers see that we are breadwinners, honest and 
sincere, we will be successful in our mission, for our 
demands are not unreasonable". He added that 
Congress was not to be asked to issue any '^special 
funds or bonds": the financing of the project was 
to be left entirely to the discretion of the lawmakers. 

As the column neared Des Moines the farmers 
along the way were no longer so enthusiastic as 
those in th^ western part of the State and wagons 



KELLY'S ARMY 



339 



became scarce. Desertions reduced the force for a 
time to about eleven hundred, but Kelly firmly re- 
fused to allow his men to capture a train, insisting 
that such action would ruin the cause. For several 
days the army kept up its pace of twenty miles a 
day, and finished by attempting a forced march of 
forty miles into Des Moines, through the night of 
April 28th. 

Des Moines had been making preparations for the 
invaders. The People's Party Political Club had 
appointed a committee, headed by the ex-presiden- 
tial candidate of the party. General James B. 
Weaver, to arrange for the entertainment of Kelly's 
men. General Weaver sent word to Kelly at At- 
lantic that sentiment in Des Moines was very favor- 
able to the army and that he was endeavoring to 
secure railroad transportation from Des Moines to 
Washington, with every prospect of success. The 
city authorities, on the other hand, who felt less of 
this favorable sentiment than the Populists did, pre- 
pared to prevent any demonstrations when the army 
arrived. 

Apparently Kelly planned to enter the city in time 
for a great ovation on Sunday morning, but he reck- 
oned without his host. It was a long hard march, 
the farmers gave little aid, it rained, and the Gen- 
eral lost his way. Morning found the men in camp 
at Walnut Creek, where they were visited by General 
Weaver. When they finally approached the city 
they were detained by the police, shivering in the 



340 



THE PALIMPSEST 



rain, while the stragglers came up, and it was late in 
the afternoon before they marched to the stove 
works, an unoccupied three-story brick building 
where they were quartered during their stay. Brass 
bands and parades were forbidden. 

On Monday night a meeting was held in the inter- 
est of the army in the Trades Assembly Hall. 
General Weaver, who was called upon to speak, com- 
pared the situation with the French Revolution. He 
told how in Congress he had seen petitions on the 
clerk's desk carted off by the janitor without having 
been read. The right of petition was a farce. 
**Here", says a reporter, **the crowd yelled for 
air", and the meeting was adjourned to the court- 
house yard, where General Weaver explained what 
the army wanted: free silver to right the crime of 
'73", and appropriations to irrigate arid lands in 
the West. Kelly announced that he had intended to 
be in Washington on May 1st but, although he had 
not been able to do so, he would persist if it took 
until Christmas. 

During the sojourn of the army in Des Moines, 
Kelly also spoke to the students of Drake Univer- 
sity, which made it seem advisable to the trustees 
of the institution somewhat later to issue a denial 
that they had any special sympathy for him. The 
Drake students did more than listen to Kelly, how- 
ever: they investigated his army. They recorded 
what information they were able to obtain from the 
men and President B. 0. Aylesworth compiled statis- 



KELLY'S ARMY 



341 



tics from this material The results showed that of 
763 men questioned as to their nationality, 549 pro- 
fessed to be American born. Of the foreign born, 
two-fifths came from the British Isles or British do- 
minions, and more than a fourth from Germany. 
Most of the remainder were from western Europe. 
Eighty-three trades and occupations were repre- 
sented among the 425 men examined who claimed to 
have any. In politics, 240 were Populists, 218 were 
Eepublicans, 196 were Democrats, 81 were unde- 
cided, and 11 were independents. There were 358 
Protestants and 280 Catholics, while 114 said they 
had no religion. The average time since the men 
had been last employed was six months. 

The Iowa State Register printed summaries of 
the stories of about fifty of the men. Many of them 
stated the wages at which they were willing to work 
— half a dozen wanted union'' or standard" 
'wages and the rest named amounts varying from one 
to two dollars a day. Seven said they were willing to 
do any work offered. **0f the men in Kelly's army", 
said a Register editorial, perhaps not more than 
eight out of every ten belong to the real industrial 
classes, but the fact that the professional roadsters 
have taken to marching in armies is only a mani- 
festation of the discontent that exists among labor- 
ing men. ' ' 

The Coxey fiasco at "Washington occurred while 
Kelly was in Des Moines. At first Kelly had as- 
serted that the industrial army movement had no 



342 



THE PALIMPSEST 



connection with the Coxey movement in Ohio ; then 
he said that he would cooperate with Coxey if he 
arrived in Washington on time; now he attacked 
Coxey 's lack of generalship. Coxey should have 
waited, he thought, until the western armies came up 
to support his demonstration. ^^His whole fate", 
said Kelly, depends upon my army. . . . The 
whole west, especially the laboring element, is with 
me and my men in our mission. . . . The labor- 
ing men form the bulk of the voting population, and 
these demonstrations have already had their effect 
upon the western congressmen." Coxey, therefore, 
had no one but himself to blame for his failure. 

The army had not been in Des Moines long before 
the food supply began to run short, and donations 
came in slowly. After a few days the camp at the 
stove works was reported to be so filthy and insani- 
tary that there was danger of a pestilence. But the 
army grew : a new company was formed, and a count 
of the men on May 3rd showed thirteen hundred and 
fifty in camp. The city council asked Kelly to move 
on, but the men were tired of walking and the trans- 
portation question again became crucial, both for 
the industrials, who wanted to go east, and for the 
citizens who wanted to be rid of them. 

At this juncture James E. Sovereign, the General 
Master Workman of the Knights of Labor, appeared 
unexpectedly in the city, declaring that the army 
would not walk out of Des Moines if it was necessary 
*Ho tie up all the railways in Iowa" in order to get 



KELLY'S ARMY 343 

concessions from them. On May 3rd a delegation of 
three hundred laboring men, headed by General 
Weaver and local labor leaders, called npon the 
Governor and urged him to find some way to move 
the army. Governor Jackson agreed to make an- 
other attempt to get it to the Mississippi if it would 
agree to go by steamboat down to Cairo and thence 
up the Ohio. The railroads, however, steadfastly 
declined to furnish a train for anything less than 
passenger rates. 

Finally a scheme for moving the army was con- 
cocted. Flatboats were to be built and the army 
was to be transformed into an ^'industrial navy'' 
and sent down the Des Moines River. Des Moines 
carpenters furnished tools and helped in construct- 
ing the boats, while the industrials, working busily 
in Kelly's navy yard", were visited by thousands 
of people who rejoiced in ''the prospect of the de- 
parture of the enormous white elephant that has 
squatted down upon the city." Kelly had stayed 
too long. His army and its friends in Des Moines 
had begun to get on each other's nerves. On May 
9th the army, consisting of about a thousand men, 
embarked on one hundred and thirty-four boats, and 
Des Moines breathed a sigh of relief. 

There were indications that Kelly's hold upon his 
men was slipping before he left Des Moines. Lack 
of discipline, or the weather, or both, soon scattered 
the fleet along many miles of the shallow stream. 
Several boats manned by Sacramento men (Jack 



344 



THE PALIMPSEST 



London seems to have been one of the ringleaders) 
got away before the others and picked np provisions 
intended for the main body. At Ottumwa the fam- 
ished army was fed, and visited by ten thousand 
people. After twelve days of river navigation the 
flotilla reached the Mississippi. There the flatboats 
were lashed together into a sort of raft which, with 
the army aboard, was towed down the river. 

Southward General Kelly proceeded with his 
army, past St. Louis where labor leaders gave a 
flattering reception, on to Cairo where he destroyed 
his boats, and thence up the Ohio in barges. He was 
reported to be leading a force of at least twelve 
hundred men when he approached Louisville, but the 
whole ascent of the Ohio was a struggle with adver- 
sity. The people east of the Mississippi were less 
hospitable than the farmers of Iowa. Other indus- 
trial armies had traversed this region before and the 
novelty had worn off. After the first of May, Kelly's 
cause, like Coxey's, had declined. By July his men 
seem to have been scattered in various parts of 
Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia — many in a 
destitute condition, to the great annoyance of farm- 
ers upon whom they foraged. 

On July 12th, more than three months after he 
had left San Francisco, Kelly appeared in Washing- 
ton with a few of his men. Six hundred more, he 
claimed, were still on the way. The remnants of 
other industrial armies continued to straggle into 



KELLY'S ARMY 



345 



the capital and by the end of July there were twelve 
hundred or more encamped in the vicinity. 

Although Populist Senators and Representatives 
talked and introduced resolutions, Congress did 
nothing for the unemployed. The living petition 
was a failure, and the petitioners faced starvation. 
General Coxey, now a Populist candidate for Con- 
gress, visited Washington and advised his men to 
beg until they were arrested and thus obtain food at 
public expense — advice which few cared to follow. 
The behavior of the industrials continued to be 
characteristic of law-abiding workingmen rather 
than of professional vagrants. Even during the 
starving time a reporter noted that in one of their 
camps the chickens from the neighboring farms 
wandered about with impunity, although the com- 
mander, wistfully regarding one of these birds, 
warned it that if the situation grew much worse he 
feared for its safety. 

Kelly returned to California to work for the 
cause. Other leaders took to the road to raise funds. 
The authorities of Maryland and the District of 
Columbia at last took measures to dispose of the 
armies, and the men were shipped to cities in the 
neighborhood of their homes. By the middle of 
August the camps were deserted, and this strange 
crusade of the unemployed was ended. 

Donald L. McMukry 



Lieutenant Jefferson Davis 



Jefferson Davis ! To many the name conjures up 
visions of the tall, angular President of the Confed- 
erate States of America. But to others, familiar 
with the story of frontier days in western Illinois 
and Wisconsin and in eastern Iowa, the name is a 
reminder of a young second lieutenant, fresh from 
"West Point, reporting for duty at old Fort Craw- 
ford. Indeed, the crumbling ruins of old Fort 
Crawford recall to the mind of the visitor at Prairie 
du Chien many interesting tales of the frontier, 
among which the experiences and the romance of 
the gracious young officer from the South are of 
more than passing interest. 

Jefferson Davis was only twenty years of age 
when he graduated from West Point in July, 1828, 
but he was every whit an officer, so his comrades 
testified. Distinguished in his corps for his military 
bearing and his lofty character, he was considered 
a perfect type of a southern ^*West Pointer In 
stature he was tall and erect. His complexion was 
fair, his features delicate, his forehead high, and his 
blue eyes were large and clear. His whole conduct 
was indicative of self-esteem, pride, determination, 
and personal mastery. 

Such was the young man who, after a vacation at 

346 



LIEUTENANT JEFFERSON DAVIS 347 



the home of his brother in Mississippi, took passage 
on a Mississippi River steamboat for Jefferson 
Barracks at St. Lonis, accompanied by his faithful 
negro slave, James Pemberton. He arrived at Jef- 
ferson Barracks late in the autumn of 1828 and was 
assigned to duty at Fort Crawford which, at Prairie 
du Chien, shared with Fort Snelling at the Falls of 
St. Anthony the task of guarding the frontier of the 
Upper Mississippi. 

In the early months of 1829 Davis was detailed to 
superintend the cutting of timber on the banks of 
the Red Cedar River in northern Wisconsin. The 
task consisted mainly of cutting the logs on the 
banks of the river, dragging them to the water, 
fastening them together in large rafts, and guiding 
them down to the Chippewa River and thence to the 
Mississippi. "When they arrived at Prairie du Chien, 
they were used in constructing new fortifications 
and buildings at the fort. It was very hazardous 
work to direct some of the rafts over the rapids of 
the small streams, and the Indians were hostile and 
often very troublesome. But Davis ^s power to meet 
exigencies successfully carried them all safely 
through many a serious predicament. 

Once the company was hailed by a party of In- 
dians who demanded a trade of tobacco. As they 
appeared to have no hostile intentions, Davis and 
his men paddled over to the bank to parley. Some- 
one in the party discovered, however, that their 
peaceful tones were merelj^ a cloak to hide their 



348 



THE PALIMPSEST 



hostility, and warned Davis of the danger. The 
soldiers hurriedly pushed out into the stream and 
the Indians, yelling with fury, followed them. 
Eealizing what little chance white men had against 
such experienced paddlers, Davis conceived the idea 
of rigging up a sail with a blanket. A strong and 
treacherous wind made this rather dangerous but, 
as it was a chance between certain death from the 
Indians and possible death from drowning, they 
were willing to risk every available chance of escape. 
The sail was quickly hoisted and the contrivance 
worked well. They soon sped on far ahead of their 
enraged pursuers and the Indians had to yield the 
race to Davis. 

Not long after Jefferson Davis came to Fort Craw- 
ford, a strange coincidence occurred. George "W. 
Jones, whom he had known at Transylvania Univer- 
sity as a friend and classmate, was at that time 
living at Sinsinawa Mound, about fifty miles from 
Fort Crawford. ^'One night about nine o'clock' 
Jones writes in his autobiography, ^^I heard a voice 
hallooing outside. I stepped out and could barely 
see two men on horseback. The near one said : 

*Does Mr. Jones live here?' 

I replied: *I am Mr. Jones.' 

^ Can we get to stay all night with you ? ' 

*Yes', I replied, 'but you will have hard fare, for 
I have no bed. I can give you some buffalo robes 
and hobble your horses out, as my horse is. But 
where are you going?' I asked. 



LIEUTENANT JEFFERSON DAVIS 349 



He replied: *To Fort Crawford, at Prairie du 
Chien.' 
* Where are you from?' 
*From Galena.' 

*Why, sir, you are twelve miles off your road.' 
He then asked: *Mr. Jones, did you ever go to 
college at Lexington, Kentucky?' 
*Yes, I did.' 

*Do you remember a college boy by the name of 
Jeff. Davis?' 

'Yes, I shall never forget that dear boy.' 

'Well,' he replied, 'I am Jeff.' 

I jumped out, hauled him from his horse, and 
said: 'Dear Jeff! You shall come in and sleep in 
my bunk.' " 

In the summer of 1829 Lieutenant Colonel Zachary 
Taylor, commonly called "Old Eough and Eeady", 
was transferred from Fort Snelling to the command 
of Fort Crawford. Taylor brought his family with 
him — his wife, his son, and three beautiful daugh- 
ters. The presence of the pretty young ladies 
doubtless spread commotion in the hearts of home- 
sick young officers, and the young southerner proved 
to be no exception. 

Soon after their arrival, however, Davis was 
ordered to Fort Winnebago, another important post 
on the northwestern border. It com.manded the 
portage between the Fox and Wisconsin rivers on 
the waterway from the Great Lakes to the Missis- 
sippi Eiver, and was the strategic center of opera- 



350 



THE PALIMPSEST 



tions in case of attack by the many tribes of Indians 
living in northern Wisconsin. Here again, he was 
bnsy with improvements upon the fort. 

Life at Fort Winnebago was not as severe and 
trying as at some of the other frontier forts. Ex- 
cursions, reconnaissances, card playing, and theat- 
ricals improvised by the young officers and their 
wives occupied the spare hours. Davis had several 
pieces of furniture made for the officers' quarters 
from the heavy timber of the region. Some of this 
furniture has been preserved and is highly valued 
by the antiquarians of Wisconsin. 

In 1831 Davis returned to Fort Crawford and was 
ordered up Yellow Eiver in Wisconsin to superin- 
tend the building of a sawmill. His diplomatic 
powers were severely put to test there, for it was no 
small task to keep the Indians in the neighborhood 
in a friendly state of mind. But he soon learned 
that flattery and good management were much 
cheaper and more effective than cold lead, and were 
also easier to apply. He gained the regard of all 
the surrounding tribes to such an extent that he was 
dignified with the title of Little Chief. For one 
of his experience his success as superintendent of 
the sawmill was remarkable. 

After his return from the Yellow River assign- 
ment, Jefferson Davis was sent by his commanding 
officer, Zachary Taylor, to effect the removal of the 
miners who were unlawfully working the lead mines 
in thQ vicinity of Dubuque. Trouble bad been 



LIEUTENANT JEFFERSON DAVIS 351 



threatening in the Galena-Dubuqne region for some 
time. The Indians opposed trespassing on their 
land, while the miners felt that an ungrateful gov- 
ernment was thwarting their right to exploit the rich 
veins of lead. A previous attempt to dislodge the 
fearless miners from the Iowa side had failed and 
young Davis faced a difficult task. 

The situation was tense: feeling ran high and 
whiskey flowed freely. Davis, however, had known 
some of the miners previously at Galena and the 
influence of his friend, George W. Jones, aided him 
in handling the situation. Determined not to resort 
to force, he held many conferences with the miners 
in an effort to settle the question peaceably. 

Mrs. Varina Howell Davis in her book, Jefferson 
Davis, Ex-President of the Confederate States of 
America, A Memoir, relates that on one occasion 
Davis had arranged to meet several of the miners 
for a conference at a little drinking booth in the 
vicinity of the mines. Before his arrival about 
twenty-five miners had already assembled. A friend, 
who had heard the miners threaten to kill the lieu- 
tenant if he entered the cabin, begged him not to go 
in. But Davis, his daring challenged to the fighting 
point, boldly entered at once, greeted them all pleas- 
antly, and added, ' ' My friends, I am sure you have 
thought over my proposition and are going to drink 
to my success. So I will treat you alP'. Whether 
admiration of his daring or a reconsideration had 
changed their attitude is not known, but whatever it 



352 



THE PALIMPSEST 



was, they immediately gave him a hearty cheer. 
Negotiations went more smoothly after that. 

Davis worked patiently and persistently and did 
succeed in persuading the miners to leave the Iowa 
land and to recross the Mississippi. With the as- 
surance that their claims to the lead-mine region 
would be recognized after a treaty had been made 
with the Indians to open the Iowa country for settle- 
ment, the miners packed up their tools and left 
peaceably with their families. The situation had 
been diplomatically and deftly handled by the south- 
ern lieutenant. Years afterwards Davis wrote of 
this episode, *^It has always been to me a happy 
memory that the removal was accomplished without 
resort to force, and, as I learned afterward, that 
each miner in due time came into his own. ' ' 

Like the sudden bursting of a storm spreading 
terror in a peaceful valley came the Black Hawk 
War in 1832 to cause alarm throughout northwest- 
ern Illinois and southwestern Wisconsin. Black 
Hawk, smarting under his alleged wrongs, recrossed 
the Mississippi from his new home in Iowa to his 
old home in Illinois, and thereby touched a match to 
the powder of the short and decisive struggle which 
brought together men and officers who later became 
famous on the battle-fields of Mexico and in the 
Civil War. Fate decreed that two men — one des- 
tined to become President of the United States of 
America, the other to guide the course of the Con- 
federacy — were to participate in the Black Hawk 



LIEUTENANT JEFFERSON DAVIS 353 



War. One was then a captain of Illinois volunteers ; 
the other was a lieutenant in the regular infantry. 

Mrs. Davis claims that the paths of the two men 
crossed dilring the campaign in Illinois. It is en- 
tirely possible that the officers met, and they may 
have messed together. The dramatic tradition, 
however, that Jefferson Davis administered to 
Abraham Lincoln the oath of allegiance to the Con- 
stitution of the United States seems to be ill- 
founded. 

Although Davis conducted himself with credit to 
his company in the Black Hawk War he is remem- 
bered more for an event which occurred after the 
Indians had been crushed and Black Hawk captured 
than for any exploits during the struggle itself. 
When it was decided to send Black Hawk and his 
braves down to Jefferson Barracks, Davis was 
ordered to conduct them there. The prisoners were 
well treated by their young escort, for courtesy to a 
fallen foe was then considered one of the first obliga- 
tions of ^ ^ an officer and a gentleman". The proud old 
chief appreciated the kindly attitude of Davis to- 
ward him, and spoke of him thus in his autobi- 
ography: 

**We started for Jefferson Barracks in a steam 
boat, under charge of a young war chief (Lieut. 
Jefferson Davis), who treated us with much kind- 
ness. He is a good and brave young chief, with 
whose conduct I was much pleased. On our way 
down we called at Galena and remained a short time. 



354 



THE PALIMPSEST 



The people crowded to the boat to see us, but the war 
chief would not permit them to enter the apartment 
where we were, knowing, from what his own feelings 
would have been if he had been placed in a similar 
position, that we did not wish to have a gaping 
crowd around us.'' 

With Black Hawk in confinement at Jefferson 
Barracks, Lieutenant Davis again returned to Fort 
Crawford. His friendship for Sarah Knox Taylor 
soon ripened into ardent love w^hich was recipro- 
cated by the charming daughter of ^ ' Old Bough and 
Eeady". Colonel Taylor, it is said, always consid- 
ered his own presence necessary to the proper enter- 
tainment of his daughters' callers. One writer is 
inclined to think that the young men of to-day 
would not care to have their prospective fathers-in- 
law quite so attentive as Taylor was to his pros- 
pective sons-in-law. He insisted on being present on 
the occasion of their visits; and when tattoo was 
sounded, he would yawn and say, *It is time for all 
honest people to be in bed.' That meant that the 
young man had to leave." 

The Colonel's presence did not bother Sarah's 
suitor in the least, however, for it was not long be- 
fore their engagement was announced. "When the 
news was told to Taylor, he remarked that he had 
the kindliest feeling for his daughter's choice, but he 
had hoped that none of his daughters would ever 
marry into the army, for none knew better than he 
the trials and anxieties of a soldier's wife. His fair 



LIEUTENANT JEFFERSON DAVIS 355 



daughter soon convinced him that that was too 
trivial an obstacle to place in their way. It was not 
long, however, until the kindliest feeling'' changed : 
a bitter quarrel arose between Davis and Taylor — ■ 
one which never abated. 

A court martial had been ordered at the garrison. 
Taylor acted as president, while Davis, Major Tom 
Smith, and a young officer who had just reported for 
duty constituted the rest of the court. When they 
assembled, the young officer appeared in civilian 
clothes, offering the excuse that his uniform had 
been delayed at St. Louis. Taylor, who was a 
stickler for rules and customs, refused to consider 
any cases until the officer could take his seat in full 
uniform. An angry discussion over the question 
thereupon ensued between Taylor and Smith (a bit- 
ter feud already existed between the two). A vote 
was called for and, much to Taylor's surprise and 
chagrin, Davis voted with Smith to go on with the 
trial. Taylor became so enraged that he turned to 
Davis with an oath, declaring emphatically that any 
man who would vote with Tom Smith on a question 
like that could never marry his daughter. He for- 
bade him to ever enter his home again. 

The transfer of Davis from a second lieutenant in 
the infantry to the position of first lieutenant and 
adjutant of the First Dragoons in 1834 took him 
away from Fort Crawford to Fort Gibson, Arkansas. 
But if Taylor had hoped that the removal of Davis 
would change the attitude of his daughter, he was 



356 THE PALIMPSEST 

I 

very much mistaken. Distance did not affect their 
pretty romance in the least — in fact it was chiefly 
on account of the separation that Davis resigned his 
commission that year. On June 30, 1835, he severed 
all connections with the United States army. 

Then it was, certain romanticists tell ns, that he 
returned to old Fort Crawford to settle the dispute 
with Taylor. Miss Sarah told her father that, as he 
could allege nothing against the character of her 
fiance, she intended to marry him soon. But neither 
time nor distance had abated the stubborn father's 
feelings, and he flatly refused his consent to their 
marriage. And so, regardless of silly feuds and 
stubborn fathers, it is said, the young couple planned 
to elope. At night, choosing the darkest hour before 
the dawn, they would steal forth from the fort; 
escape to the other side of the river; be secretly 
married at McGregor; and return to the fort as man 
and wife. Only the mighty river and the bluffs tow- 
ering high above the elopers, mute witnesses to the 
thrilling escapade, could be trusted with their secret. 

This, the romanticists tell us, actually happened. 
Some insist that they never returned to the fort but 
hastened away down the Mississippi to Kentucky. 
It is one of the legends woven from the traditions 
of the iron-barred window and the old sentinel post 
which still remain in Prairie du Chien as eloquent 
reminders of the romance of frontier days. But 
romance and facts often disagree. Historians say 
that it was not the silent bluffs of the Mississippi 



LIEUTENANT JEFFERSON DAVIS 357 



that witnessed the marriage but a peaceful southern 
plantation in Kentucky. The true story is that 
shortly after the departure of Davis from the fort, 
Miss Taylor decided to go to live with her aunt in 
Kentucky. She engaged a stateroom on the steamer 
St. Louis and prepared to leave. A last appeal was 
made to her father but the firm and unyielding 
Colonel remained resolute. He never saw his 
daughter afterward, and the estrangement between 
him and Davis never healed during her life. 

Miss Taylor remained with her aunt until Davis 
came for her after his resignation at Fort Gibson. 
Two of the Colonel's sisters, his oldest brother, and 
other members of the Taylor family were present at 
the marriage. The young couple then left for the 
Davis plantation, ^^Brierfield", on the Mississippi 
some thirty miles below Vicksburg. Their romance, 
however, was short lived for in the autumn of that 
year the young bride caught the fever then so preva- 
lent in the lower Mississippi region, and died. 

And so to-day, whether the reader admires or con- 
demns the later career of Jefferson Davis, only 
kindly thoughts are aroused by his conduct as a 
young lieutenant in the Upper Mississippi Valley. 
Eomance and adventure, hardship and pleasure, love 
and a great sorrow are the chapters in the story of 
Lieutenant Jefferson Davis. 

DOBOTHY MacBrIDE 



Comment by the Editor 



THE TEMPER OF THE WEST 

*^The voice of the West^', said Woodrow Wilson 
in 1911, ^4s a voice of protest.'' It was ever thus. 
From the time of the Whiskey Rebellion to the days 
of the Non-Partisan League, the West has again and 
again expressed dissatisfaction with the conduct of 
public affairs. The feeling has always prevailed, 
except perhaps for a few years during the period of 
the Civil War, that the East — opinionated, intoler- 
ant, and domineering — has not been fair to the 
West. Socially, economically, and politically the 
two sections have been constantly at odds, and 
neither has quite understood the other, though the 
East has seldom tried. 

The temper of the West has been preeminently 
one of restiveness under restraint — not the re- 
straint of law and order self-imposed, but the re- 
pression of native inclinations by outside control. 
It is inherent in the very nature of the people. De- 
scended from the most enterprising, adventurous, 
and versatile stock and reared in an atmosphere of 
opportunity and self-reliance, they have developed 
what James Bryce called *^the most American part 
of America". Independence in politics, distrust of 
big business, and a willingness to experiment are the 

358 



COMMENT BY THE EDITOR 



359 



natural manifestations of this temper of the West 
— as natural as the champing and shying of a spir- 
ited horse that is restive to the rein. 

In America the element of democracy has always 
been prominent, and the tendency of the people in 
the West to determine their own policies and select 
their own leaders has had a decisive effect upon poli- 
tics. While the impatient disposition of the West 
has often been expressed in eager support of reform 
movements, those movements have invariably devel- 
oped democratically from below upward. It is al- 
most a truism to say that nothing, either good or bad, 
can be forced upon the West from above or without, 
and that is as true of leaders as of ideas or institu- 
tions. What chance has a political scientist to be 
elected mayor of Chicago or the immigration policy 
to be an issue in Iowa! The secret of successful 
leadership in the West is the espousal of a popular 
cause. To be sure the cause may sometimes be un- 
worthy, and wise leaders are often deposed; but the 
political ways of the West have the merit of being 
spontaneous and sincere — valuable traits of democ- 
racy — and are apt to accomplish more than well- 
intentioned paternalism. 

THE CRADLE OF NEW PARTIES 

Most of the important political reforms of the last 
century have come out of the West. Born of the 
pressure of hard times and nurtured by wide-spread 
discontent, new parties have arisen in the Missis- 



360 



THE PALIMPSEST 



sippi Valley to protest against the prevailing char- 
acteristics of social and industrial development. 
Situated in the heart of the region from which these 
protests have emanated, Iowa has been the cradle of 
new parties and has furnished their most capable 
leadership. From the organization of the Eepub- 
lican party to the decline of the Progressives, there 
has been scarcely a movement in the name of democ- 
racy and human welfare which lowans have not 
endorsed. Even Kelly's army received its heartiest 
encouragement in this State. 

And yet, in spite of such a history, Iowa has no 
reputation for radicalism. Perhaps it is because 
the opposition to the malefactors of great wealth" 
has been essentially sound, though specific remedies 
have often been visionary. More likely it is due to a 
fundamental difference in the object of the proposed 
reforms. Eastern radicalism is individualistic, al- 
most anarchistic ; while western radicalism is collec- 
tive and social in character. It is comparatively 
unselfish — the wholehearted endeavor of coherent 
communities for the common good. That is the 
reason why Iowa — and the West — is the seat of 
social politics. 

J. E. B. 




CONTENTS 



Over the Rapids 



Ben Hur Wilson 



361 



The Scotch Grove Trail 

Bruce E. Mahan 



379 



Comment 



The Editor 



398 



..Published Monthly At Iowa City By 

THE State HisTOfiicAi SoxieiyofIowa 




INTERED AS SECOND CLASS MATTER JULY 28 1920 AT THE POST OFFICE AT IOWA CITY IOWA 
UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 24 1BI2 



THE PURPOSE OF THIS MAGAZINE 

The Palimpsest, issued monthly by the State His- 
torical Society of Iowa, is devoted to the dissemina- 
tion of Iowa History. Supplementing the other pub- 
lications of this Society, it aims to present the materials 
of Iowa History in a form that is attractive and a style 
that is popular in the best sense — to the end that the 
story of our Commonwealth may be more widely read 
and cherished. 

BENJ. F. SHAMBAUGH 
Superiniendeni 



THE MEANING OF PALIMPSESTS 

In early times palimpsests were parchments or other 
materials from which one or more writings had been 
erased to give room for later records. But the eras- 
ures were not always complete; and so it became the 
fascinating task of scholars not only to translate the 
later records but also to reconstruct the original writ- 
ings by deciphering the dim fragments of letters partly 
erased and partly covered by subsequent texts. 

The history of Iowa may be likened to a palimpsest 
which holds the records of successive generations. To 
decipher these records of the past, reconstruct them, 
and tell the stories which they contain is the task of 
those who write history. 



PRICE — 10c per copy: $1 per year: free to members of Society 
ADDRESS— The State Historical Society Iowa City Iowa 



The Palimpsest 

EDITED BY JOHN ELY BRIGGS 
Vol. IV Issued in November 1923 No. 11 

COPYRIGHT 1»SS BY THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF IOWA 

Over the Rapids 

Almost as by magic the canoes of Indians and 
traders, which for years had quietly glided up and 
down the Father of Waters, gave way to the steam- 
boats and barges of modern commerce. While Iowa 
was still a Territory and before the advent of rail- 
roads, steamboat traffic on the Mississippi had be- 
come the principal means of transportation for the 
produce of the great valley. As the country devel- 
oped, steamboating grew into a major industry with 
a rapidity seldom if ever paralleled in the history of 
transportation. There was glamour and pride of 
achievement in life on the Mississippi in those viru- 
lent days. 

On the Upper Mississippi there were two rapids 
which, when the river was in its lower stages, seri- 
ously menaced navigation. In river parlance they 
were known as the Upper" or ''Rock" Rapids 
above Rock Island and the ''Lower" or "Des 



361 



362 



THE PALIMPSEST 



Moines" Eapids, located a short distance above the 
mouth of the Des Moines Eiver between Keoknk and 
Montrose. Of the two the Des Moines Eapids con- 
stituted the more formidable obstacle. According to 
Eobert E. Lee, who made a detailed survey of both 
rapids in the autumn of 1837 for the Department of 
"War, the Des Moines Eapids extended a little over 
eleven miles and had a fall of over twenty-four feet. 
There the Mississippi flowed, he reported, **with 
great velocity over an irregular bed of blue lime- 
stone, reaching from shore to shore, at all times 
covered with water, and through which many 
crooked channels have been worn by the action of 
the current. Its longitudinal slope not being uni- 
form, but raised at several places above its general 
elevation, divides the whole distance into as many 
pools or sections. The passage over these reefs 
becomes, during low stages of the river, very diffi- 
cult, in consequence of the shoalness of the water, 
its great fall and velocity, and the narrow and wind- 
ing channels through them; as the river rises, its 
surface becomes nearer and nearer parallel to a 
plane tangent to the highest of these points, its ex- 
treme fall is diminished, and the only impediment 
consists in the rapidity of the current." 

When the river was at its lower stages these rap- 
ids baffled the earliest explorers and fur traders, and 
no doubt proved a barrier to the redmen as well. 
Father Francois Xavier, writing in 1721 from hear- 
say, states that a * league above the mouth of the 



OVER THE RAPIDS 



363 



Moingona, there are two rapids or strong currents 
of a considerable length in the Mississippi, where 
passengers are obliged to unload and carry their 
pirogues ' From this statement it would seem that 
even then, less than fifty years after the discovery 
of the upper river by Joliet and Marquette, there 
had come into existence a well-established custom of 
lightering boats over the rapids. 

With the development of the fur trade a village of 
Sac and Fox Indians, with a considerable number of 
half-breeds among them, took up their abode at the 
head of the rapids about the year 1770. The chief 
occupation of these Indians was the service of guid- 
ing itinerant traders up and down the river and 
especially over the rapids. Luggage and merchan- 
dise were unloaded and the rugged braves, some- 
times assisted by a mule but more often by their 
squaws, carried the cargo along the shore to the 
other end of the rapids. In return for these ser- 
vices they were paid in blankets, baubles, firearms, 
and whisky. 

In 1803 the United States came into possession of 
the country bordering the Mississippi on the west. 
Two years later, during the summer of 1805, Lieu- 
tenant Zebulon M. Pike came up the river from St. 
Louis in a large keel boat propelled by sails and oars. 
On the morning of August 20th he arrived at the 
foot of the Des Moines Eapids. After having passed 
the first shoal with great difficulty he was met by a 
party of Sac lightermen consisting of four chiefs 



364 



THE PALIMPSEST 



and fifteen men in three canoes. With them was 
William Ewing, an Indian agent stationed at the 
head of the rapids, and Louis Tesson who six years 
before had obtained a Spanish land grant, set up a 
trading establishment, and planted an apple orchard 
near the Indian village. They **took out 13 of my 
heaviest barrels," wrote Lieutenant Pike, **and put 
two of their men in the barge to pilot us up." 

Pike described the rapids as being eleven miles 
long, **with successive ridges and shoals extending 
from shore to shore. The first has the greatest fall 
and is the most difficult to ascend. The channel, a 
bad one, is on the east side in passing the two first 
bars; then passes under the edge of the third; 
crosses to the west, and ascends on that side, all the 
way to the Sac village." 

In time keel boats, which were widely used by the 
immigrants who came to the Iowa country, were 
supplanted by steamboats. The Western Engineer 
was the first steamer to reach the Des Moines Eap- 
ids. Niles' Weekly Register for July 24, 1819, de- 
scribed her arrival at St. Louis and went on to say 
that the bow of this stern-wheel craft exhibits the 
form of a huge serpent, black and scaly, rising out 
of the water from under the boat, his head as high 
as the deck, darted forward, his mouth open, vomit- 
ing smoke, and apparently carrying the boat on his 
back. From under the boat, at its stern, issues a 
stream of foaming water, dashing violently along. 
All the machinery is hid. Three small brass field 



OVER THE RAPIDS 



365 



pieces, mounted on wheel carriages, stand on the 
deck. The boat is ascending the rapid stream at the 
rate of 3 miles an hour. Neither wind or human 
hands are seen to help her ; and, to the eye of igno- 
rance, the illusion is complete, that a monster of the 
deep carries her on his back, smoking with fatigue, 
and lashing the waves with violent exertion. ^ ' The 
vessel carried an expedition sent by the national 
government to explore the Mississippi and Missouri 
rivers, and during the following summer of 1820 it 
proceeded up the Mississippi to the Des Moines 
Rapids but made no attempt to go farther. 

Three years later the steamboat Virginia per- 
formed the epoch-making feat of ascending over the 
rapids, the first steam-propelled craft to accomplish 
the passage. This boat was about one hundred and 
eighteen feet long, twenty-two feet wide, and had a 
carrying capacity of about one hundred and sixty 
tons. She left St. Louis on May 2, 1823, bound for 
Fort Snelling with supplies. On the evening of May 
6th, according to J. C. Beltrami, a noted Italian 
traveller who was on board, the vessel set out from 
Fort Edward but soon returned on account of being 
too heavily laden to ^^make a very difficult and 
dangerous passage at a place called the Middle of 
the Rapids of the Moine, nine miles above the Fort. 
By great good luck we escaped from a rock which 
might have dashed our steam-boat to pieces ; it was 
only slightly damaged." The following day was 
spent in preparation for another attempt at negoti- 



366 



THE PALIMPSEST 



ating the rapids, probably by lightering some of the 
cargo over, and on the eighth the boat made the 
ascent ^^thongh not without difficulty '\ 

Very soon, encouraged no doubt by the outcome of 
this first venture, other steamers attempted to run 
the rapids, and it is recorded that not all were as 
successful in their efforts as was the Virginia. The 
Mandan, after being on the river ^^forty days en 
route from New Orleans'', arrived at the foot of the 
rapids, which she attempted to ascend, but could 
get no higher than Filly Rock, on account of heavy 
draught and the want of a correct knowledge of the 
channel by the pilot." Later, however, her efforts 
were crowned with greater success and on at least 
one trip it is known that she reached Fort Snelling. 

"Within the next six or seven years steamboats be- 
came common on the river above the rapids and 
several began to operate on regular schedules. The 
business of river transportation gradually assumed 
the character of an organized industry. It appears 
that the Virginia, Neiville, Rufus Putnam, Mandan, 
Indiana, Lawrence, Express, Eclipse, Josephine, 
and Fulton were the first ten steamboats to go over 
the Des Moines Rapids and reach the head of navi- 
gation at the Falls of St. Anthony. Other steamers, 
including the Pike, Red Rover, Chieftain, Enter- 
prise, Mechanic, Java, Shamrock, Mexico, Warrior, 
Dubuque, Winnebago, Wisconsin, Olive Branch, and 
the William Wallace, plied the Mississippi along the 
eastern border of the Iowa country. These pioneer 



OYER THE RAPIDS 



367 



steamboats were commanded by sncb men as J osepb 
Throckmorton, Thomas F. Flaherty, John Shell- 
cross, Henry Crossle, George "W. Atchison, M. 
Littleton, James May, and J. Clark — names that 
are famous in the early annals of steamboating on 
the Mississippi. Eiver transportation developed 
apace and became a very prominent factor in the 
marvelously rapid settlement of the Black Hawk 
Purchase. 

Hand in hand with the growth of the steamboat 
traffic developed the business of lightering. By 1830 
the Indians were being crowded out by white men, 
and five years later lightering had assumed the pro- 
portions of a stable, well-organized industry. Towns 
which became the seat of this industry naturally 
sprang up at the head and the foot of the rapids. 
In 1832 Jenifer T. Sprigg made a survey of the 
Half-breed Tract and laid out a square mile at the 
head of the rapids on the Tesson land grant and 
another in 1833 at the foot of the rapids for town 
sites. The commercial importance of these places, 
where Montrose and Keokuk are now located, was 
noted in a letter from John W. Johnson to the Secre- 
tary of War in 1833, and the comment was added 
that during periods of *4ow water the steamboats 
cannot pass that rapid, and are compelled to unload 
at those two places, which makes those situations 
more valuable than any other part of the reserva- 
tion". 

With respect to steamboating over the rapids the 



368 



THE PALIMPSEST 



depth of the water was classified in fonr stages, 
each presenting essentially different conditions. 
First there was the ^ ^ high stage ' ' during the spring 
and early summer months when all boats went over 
the rapids fully loaded. At this stage, of course, 
lightering was not necessary. At the normal 
stage the smaller steamboats did not need to re- 
sort to lightering, but the vessels of deeper draught 
were compelled to unload at least a part of their 
cargo on to lighter-barges which they then pushed 
over the rapids. The lightermen were employed 
simply as stevedores and Avere called ratters". 
The river was said to be at ^4ow stage'' or floating 
stage" when all steamers were compelled to unload 
and transfer their freight on lighters to vessels 
waiting at the other end of the rapids. Just before 
*4ow stage" was reached the steamboat companies 
were accustomed to arrange their boats above and 
below the rapids with respect to size and the amount 
of draught, those of deepest draught below and the 
lighter boats above in order to take advantage of 
the shallower water of the Upper Mississippi. The 
fourth, or ''very low stage", was too low even for 
the lighters to operate and at this stage freight had 
to be transported around the rapids on land. In the 
earlier years the freight was carried along the river 
bank on the backs of men and burros, while the pas- 
sengers walked, but after roads were built four and 
six horse wagons were employed for freight and the 
passengers rode in handsome stagecoaches. Still 



OVER THE RAPIDS 



369 



later the construction of a railroad again altered the 
method of portaging. 

The lightering business was a seasonal occupation 
which seldom lasted more than three months when 
the river was at low stage, usually during the months 
of July, August, and September but sometimes be- 
ginning in June and lasting until November. A 
majority of the men engaged in lightering disdained 
to take up any regular occupation during the re- 
mainder or greater portion of the year, preferring 
to loaf until they could again find employment at 
their favorite occupation or '^profession'' as they 
considered it. Perhaps a few would condescend to 
work several weeks in the winter putting up ice or 
to do odd jobs at the brewery to obtain free beer. In 
the spring they would go out into the hard maple 
forests which skirted the river all the way between 
Montrose and Keokuk, and help the half-breeds 
make maple sugar. 

In running the rapids the lighters were loaded 
with great care under the personal supervision of 
the pilot or a trustworthy assistant. First a row of 
sacks, barrels, or boxes was laid the entire length of 
the boat down the center. Then wings were built on 
each side. Every precaution was taken to see that 
the cargo was properly balanced. Frequent meas- 
urements were made with a hook-gauge to see that 
the water line was not too near the top of the boat 
at any point. The loading also depended upon the 
stage of the river above low water mark and upon 



370 



THE PALIMPSEST 



the character of the cargo. If the material being 
handled was light and bulky the space in the hold of 
the lighter was sometimes filled to capacity, in which 
case a bail-way had to be left at intervals to enable 
the crew to bail out any water that might seep 
through the bottom of the boat. 

The lighters were manned by experienced crews, 
generally consisting of three men — two oarsmen, 
one on each side, and a third, called the ^'gouger^', 
who manipulated the sweep-oar at the stern as on 
lumber and log rafts. In addition, a special rapids 
pilot was in charge. 

Piloting a Mississippi Eiver steamer in the old 
days was nothing less than a fine art, and the rapids 
pilots were masters of their craft. They possessed 
marvelous skill, amazing knowledge, and resource- 
fulness equal to almost any emergency. They knew 
the exact location of every shoal, ripple, swirl, ledge, 
rock, and snag in the entire eleven miles of channel. 
They were absolutely familiar with every feature of 
the rapids in high water and low, in the dark as well 
as in the light. Indeed, that was part of their busi- 
ness and their success depended upon the accuracy 
of their knowledge and their skill in manipulating 
the vessels. 

Intense rivalry existed among the pilots, and 
many a reputation was made by some act of heroism 
or marred by some circumstance over which the 
pilot had absolutely no control. Occasionally bitter 
jealousies sprang up and malicious trickery was re- 



OVER THE RAPIDS 



371 



sorted to in order to play even with the other fellow. 
Pilots have been known to roll a small boulder off 
the stern of the boat at some strategic location in 
the channel where a hated rival on the next boat 
coming down wonld be likely to get ^'hnng up'' on 
it, to his great surprise and consternation. 

Eunning the Des Moines Eapids was always dan- 
gerous and scarcely a day passed without some nar- 
row escape on the rocks, while almost every year 
witnessed a major accident frequently involving the 
loss of life and boats. As early as 1828 the Mexico 
struck Steamboat Eock but managed to navigate as 
far as Nashville before she keeled over. The wreck 
lay there partially submerged for forty years. The 
Mechanic and West Newton met a similar fate on 
Mechanic's Eock, while the Cornelia, the Northwest, 
the J. W. Van Sant, and the Alex Mitchell were also 
wrecked in the rapids. Many a proud packet has 
been ^'hung up " on the rocks and floated off by sink- 
ing a lighter-barge on each side, fastening them 
securely to the vessel, plugging the holes in the 
sunken barges, and then pumping out the water. 
Thus the steamboat was lifted sufficiently to free it 
from the reef. Only the most foolhardy captain 
ventured to subject his craft to the perils of the 
rapids during the floating stage" and then only 
under the most urgent circumstances. On such occa- 
sions the steamer was lightened as much as possible 
and a sound and buoy" route was laid out in ad- 
vance. This was done by a rapids pilot who pre- 



372 



THE PALIMPSEST 



ceded in a yawl, sounding every foot of the way and 
setting buoys at short intervals. 

There were many famous rapids pilots, but among 
them the names of ^'Sip" Owens, John Barber, 
Joshua Grore, Valentine Speaks, Robert Farris, and 
his son, Charles H. Farris, were prominent as men 
of conspicuous ability. The latter held the record 
for taking a steamer over the rapids in sixty-one 
minutes. 

The downward freight consisted principally of 
sacked wheat, oats, potatoes, onions, a little corn, 
and considerable Galena cotton", as the lead ore 
from the mines of Dubuque was called. The up- 
bound freight was of an entirely different character, 
consisting chiefly of farm implements, stoves, ma- 
chinery, salt, coffee, sugar, and occasionally some 
gold coin to pay Indian annuities at the government 
agencies. Immigrants ' belongings — a motley lot of 
odds and ends such as household furniture, bedding, 
and livestock — made up no small part of the north- 
ward traffic. 

It was not unusual to see such boats as the Musca- 
tine, with Captain Jim "West in charge, steaming 
down the river with her decks loaded to the guards 
and pushing from one to five barges loaded with 
grain. The formation of these flotillas was as fol- 
lows : if there was only one barge, it was pushed 
directly ahead of the boat ; if two, they were lashed 
side by side as a pair ahead of the steamer ; if three, 
they were arranged with one ahead and a pair be- 




THE HEAD OF THE RAPIDS 



THIS MAP IS REPRODUCED EROM A SECTION OP A MANUSCRIPT CHART MADE IN 
1833 BY J. T. SPRIGO IN CONNECTION WITH HIS SURVEY OP THE HALF-BREED 
TRACT. AN ORIGINAL DRAFT OF THE CHART IS IN THE CALEB DAVIS COLLEC- 
TION OF HISTORICAL MATERIALS IN THE KEOKUK PUBLIC LIBRARY 



-^4 



OVER THE RAPIDS 



373 



hind, all in front of the bow; four were placed two 
pairs tandem in front; in case of five there were 
three in front and one lashed to each side of the 
steamer. Large steamboats have been known to 
handle as many as fifteen loaded barges. As may 
readily be seen, this amount of traffic created a tre- 
mendous business for the lightermen. When the 
river development was at its peak in the early sev- 
enties, the average annual cost of handling the 
freight over the rapids amounted to about $500,000. 

In the fall when traffic was heaviest and the river 
was low it was no uncommon sight to see from fif- 
teen to twenty palatial steamboats lined up at the 
wharves, both at Keokuk and Montrose, awaiting 
their turn to be lightered over the rapids. All these 
boats, with their lights, their crowds, and their 
music, presented a brilliant spectacle. The hustle 
and excitement of transferring the passengers, of 
loading and unloading the freight, and of ^ ^wooding 
up" the boats always furnished a thrill for even the 
most sophisticated. 

During the busy season of the year competition in 
securing prompt services of lighters became very 
keen and the bidding spirited to a degree of reckless- 
ness. On ordinary occasions, when business was 
normal and lighter-boats and ratters" plentiful, 
the loaders received from ten to fifteen cents an 
hour for transferring the freight from the steamers 
to the lighters and the oarsmen from one to two 
dollars a trip. When business was brisk and hands 



374 



THE PALIMPSEST 



scarce the loaders sometimes received as much as 
sixty or seventy-five cents an hour, the oarsmen from 
four to five dollars a trip, and the rapids pilots from 
ten to twenty-five dollars, according to their reputa- 
tion and skill. The oarsmen frequently made two 
down trips and sometimes three in a single day, 
depending upon the demand for their services and 
their ability to get back to the head of the rapids 
quickly. 

The trip down over the rapids was always ex- 
citing and often perilous. The oarsmen's duties, 
rather strenuous while they lasted, ended the instant 
the lighter touched the levee at Keokuk. If pros- 
pects for another trip were good, the men would 
leap for the shore and race to catch the bus that ran 
regularly between Keokuk and Montrose and which 
would haul them back to Montrose for a dollar, but 
when they were short of money or the chances of a 
second trip were poor they usually walked back. 
After the railroad was completed the oarsmen 
patronizingly helped the firemen ^^wood up'' and 
carried water for the privilege of deadheading back 
on the engine. 

At Keokuk the lighters were turned over to rat- 
ters" who transferred the cargo back to the steam- 
boat or to other steamboats and reloaded the 
lighters with up-bound cargoes. These lighters 
were then towed back up the rapids, at first by man 
power, then by oxen, later by four, six, and eight 
horse teams, and at last by steam towboats. Some- 



OVER THE RAPIDS 



375 



times the lightermen propelled the boat np the rap- 
.ids by poling, bushwhacking, cordelling, or warping. 

Isaac E. Campbell may be regarded as the pioneer 
in establishing the lightering industry. For several 
years he operated keel-boat lighters of fifty or sixty 
tons burden. In 1837, Daniel and Adam Hine suc- 
ceeded Mr. Campbell in the lightering traffic, and 
introduced the regular lighter-boats which were 
specialized flatboats. With the increase in business 
a steam towboat, the Dan Hine, was put into oper- 
ation and as time passed other small light-draught 
steamboats were added. These men continued in 
the lightering business until the St. Louis and Keo- 
kuk Northern Packet Company gained control. 

The lightering season ended abruptly each year 
with the close of navigation on November 15th, when 
all marine insurance stopped. Consequently, as the 
end of the season approached, there was likely to be 
an increasing demand for lightermen, and the result- 
ing high wages attracted many floating laborers who 
drifted in to take advantage of the situation. To 
meet this condition the ^'ratters" organized a kind 
of labor union, probably the first to be developed 
west of the Mississippi. Though it protected the 
local members against competition from outsiders, 
there was no effort to regulate wages or hours. 
Among themselves it was every man for himself. 
They stayed on the job during the busy season as 
long as they could stand, often working as many as 
eighteen or twenty hours a day for weeks at a time 



376 



THE PALIMPSEST 



under the stimulus of high wages and good whisky. 
But woe betide any outsider who attempted to break 
into the ring for there was many a ruffian ratter" 
who would stoop to any end in the maintenance of 
the closed shop on the rapids. 

Originally, brawny Americans and numerous 
Irishmen of the rough and ready type constituted a 
large proportion of the lightermen and ratters'' 
as well as the roustabouts on the steamboats. They 
were a hard-drinking, loud-swearing, devil-may-care 
race. After the Civil War, however, the Irish were 
supplanted by ex-slaves who in a few years prac- 
tically monopolized steamboat labor. On warm sum- 
mer evenings these negroes used to come ashore 
with their banjos at Montrose and Keokuk, while 
their boats were waiting to be lightered, and play 
and sing the old plantation melodies until after mid- 
night. They were fresh from the southland, freed 
from the tribulations and sorrows of slavery, but the 
old life was still vivid in their consciousness and 
they sang with hearts full of former memories and 
new inspiration. 

Most of the lighter-barges were built up the Ohio 
Eiver in the region of the prime oak" timber, 
floated down the Ohio, and towed up the Mississippi 
to the rapids. On one occasion at least, during the 
winter of 1859-1860, John Bunker took a crew of men 
up the Des Moines Eiver to a sawmill near St. Fran- 
cisville, Missouri, where there was plenty of good 
native oak and built two fine lighter-boats which 



OVER THE RAPIDS 



377 



were christened the Hawheye and the Sucher. 
These were floated down to Keokuk in the spring 
after the ice went out. 

Staunch though the lighter-boats were, they were 
subjected to such terrific strain, hard usage, and 
continual scraping on jagged rocks that they were 
frequently in need of repairs. For this purpose two 
shipyards were maintained at Montrose — the upper 
one owned by John Bunker and the lower by George 
Anderson. For many years they did a thriving 
business. 

When a boat began to leak dangerously, it had to 
be dry-docked for repairs. This was accomplished 
by bringing the boat alongside the shore, placing the 
ends of four long skid timbers under it, and hoisting 
the other end of the skids up on wooden horses. 
Cables were then attached to the boat and by the use 
of a **crab'', which was a large capstan operated by 
a horse, the boat was hauled up the skids. The 
lower ends of the skids were then jacked up so that 
the repairmen could work with ease under the boat. 

A crew of eight or ten expert boat carpenters 
made quick work of their job and the calkers took 
their turn. Each crack would be tightly filled with 
oakum. The sound of the calkers' mallets ringing 
merrily all day long with musical rhythm could be 
heard several miles up and down the river. After 
the calkers had finished their work, the cracks were 
daubed with hot pitch applied with a piece of sheep- 
skin fastened to the end of a round wooden handle. 



B78 



THE PALIMPSEST 



So efficient were the workmen that very seldom over 
a day and a half or two days were required for th6 
entire process of repair. The boats, **as good as 
new'', were then lowered back into the water. 

In the course of time, as the development of the 
country increased the commerce on the upper river, 
there sprang up a demand for speedier and cheaper 
means of transportation over or around the Des 
Moines Bapids. Railroads were rapidly pushing 
westward, and a company was organized to build a 
line between Keokuk and Montrose. This road was 
begun in 1855 and commenced carrying freight 
around the rapids the following year. The coming 
of the railroad caused great consternation among 
the lightermen, for they realized that the whistle of 
the locomotive had sounded the death knell to their 
occupation. It was, indeed, the beginning of the 
end. Much to the relief of the public the railroad 
lowered the lighterage charge to fifty cents a ton, 
between a third and a fifth of what it had been. The 
Hine brothers, nevertheless, stoically continued to 
operate their towboats until the government canal 
was opened in 1877. That put an end to the occu- 
pation of lightering steamboats over the Des Moines 
Eapids, and a once flourishing industry now lives 
only in the memory of a few of the older inhabitants. 

Ben Hur Wilson 



The Scotch Grove Trail 



The Highland Scot has ever displayed canny fore- 
sight, extraordinary thrift, steady industry, and 
sturdy fortitude in the face of obstacles. The more 
intimate feelings and emotions of the Scotchman — 
his tender sentiments of romance and love of home 
— have been disclosed in the poems of Robert Burns 
and the songs of Sir Harry Lauder. Such were the 
characteristics of the '^Hielanders'^ who came in the 
late thirties to Jones County, Iowa, and built their 
log cabin homes in the timber along the sparkling 
waters of the Maquoketa River. 

Theirs is a simple story of pioneers to whom the 
fertile prairies of Iowa were a promised land for 
men who were eager to become ^4airds" of many 
acres. At the same time it is a tale of what they 
were prepared to give Iowa in return. It was a 
long, hard trail from the bleak Highlands of Scot- 
land by way of Lord Selkirk's Red River Settlement 
to Jones County, Iowa, yet this was the route by 
which Scotch Grove pioneers came to the new Terri- 
tory and added their strength to the laying of the 
foundations for a Commonwealth. 

The lot of these people had been a hard one in the 
desolate northern shires of Caithness and Suther- 
land in Scotland. Their houses for the most part 
were one story huts called shielings" built of un- 

379 



380 



THE PALIMPSEST 



cut stone, the cHiiks stuffed with moss, and the roof 
covered with turf or thatched with straw. If a 

shieling'' had a window it was covered with a bit 
of fish bladder, or the stomach lining of a sheep, or 
perhaps a piece of paper soaked in fish oil. Chunks 
of dried peat from the bogs furnished fuel for the 
rude fireplaces; and the *^reek'' or smoke from the 
smouldering fire often choked the inmates of a hut 
when the wind, swirling down the chimney, fanned 
the smoke into the room. 

The struggle for food, too, was severe. The **Hie- 
landers ' ' rented the land from the several lords and 
sundry earls, paying a large share of their crops for 
the use of small patches of arable soil. They raised 
^^kale" or cabbages, a few turnips, some oats, a little 
barley, and a few potatoes. They pastured sheep on 
the open or common land where a limited quantity 
of grass grew among the heather and gorse. The 
flocks of sheep were limited in number, however, for 
the gentry preferred to save the grass for deer and 
rabbits in order that game might be plentiful when 
his lordship wished to hunt. If, in addition to a few 
sheep, a family owned a *^coo", they were consid- 
ered well to do — almost equal to the gentry. 

"Women and girls spun wool into yarn with the 
distaff and spindle and wove thread into cloth on a 
hand loom. Oftentimes the thread was colored and 
woven into a plaid with the stripes and colors pro- 
claiming the clan to which the family belonged. The 
women, also, dried oats and barley in a pan over the 



THE SCOTCH GROVE TRAIL 381 



fire and then ground the grain into meal with a 

quern'' — laborious work, all of it. 

Yet in spite of poverty and the hard struggle for 
existence the * ^ Hielanders " were happy folk, deeply 
, religious, and loyal to the gentry until the clearances 
began. The general introduction of sheep farming 
by the nobility led to widespread eviction of the 
smaller tenantry. During 1812 and in the spring of 
1813 evictions became so general in the Highlands 
that distress was everywhere prevalent. For a time 
serious riots occurred. Nevertheless, the Duchess 
of Sutherland proceeded to clear her land of tenants 
so as to convert her Highland domain into grazing 
land for sheep and into deer forests and shooting 
preserves. In two parishes in Sutherlandshire, 
Clyne and Kildonan, a single sheep farm displaced 
a hundred agricultural tenants with all the distress 
that had attended the earlier enclosures in England. 
It is recorded that when the Duchess of Suther- 
land went for a drive the indignant peasants would 
ring sheep bells in derision as her carriage passed. 
In vain, the Sutherlandshire tenantry sent a depu- 
tation to London to seek from the government some 
alleviation of the unemployment and destitution. 
There was no power in the Home Office to offset the 
forces of economic change. 

Hence it was that the agents of Thomas Douglas, 
Earl of Selkirk, found the Kildonan tenants eager 
to accept his offer to transport them across the At- 
lantic to his newly established colony on the Eed 



382 



THE PALIMPSEST 



Eiver of the North, where broad acres and farm 
implements and a home were to be theirs free. 
Applications came in from some seven hundred 
evicted tenants but less than a hundred could be 
taken. Little did those picked men and women real- 
ize the hardships they were to face or perhaps they 
would have been less eager to undertake the ad- 
venture. 

Having secured a controlling interest in the Hud- 
son's Bay Company, Lord Selkirk acquired from 
that organization a tract of 116,000 square miles of 
land lying west and south of Lake Winnipeg. It 
comprised roughly the area now included in the 
Province of Manitoba and the northern part of 
North Dakota and Minnesota. This tract was 
chiefly unbroken prairie traversed from south to 
north by the Ked Eiver and from west to east by the 
Assiniboine — a region which includes some of the 
best wheat land of North America. Lord Selkirk's 
purpose in securing control of the Hudson's Bay 
Company and in obtaining this huge grant of land 
was largely philanthropic : he hoped to afford relief 
to his evicted countrymen by establishing a colony 
in the heart of this land of promise. 

Accordingly, a shipload of employees had been 
sent out in 1811 to prepare the way for the settlers 
to follow. Delays in starting from the port of 
Stornaway in the Hebrides and unforeseen disasters 
along the way retarded the arrival of the advance 
group at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine 



THE SCOTCH GROVl TRATL 383 



divers until August, 1812. Hasty preparations were 
then made to receive the second band of emigrants 
who arrived two months later. The officers and 
employees of the North- West Company, rival of the 
Hudson's Bay Company in the fur trade of the 
North, looked upon the newcomers as intruders in a 
territory explored by their men and in which their 
trading posts had long been established. Various 
impediments were thrown in the way of the Selkirk 
emigrants. From the first season, hostility devel- 
oped between the settlement and the North- West 
Company which soon led to an open feud. 

Such was the situation into which the evicted ten- 
ants of Sutherlandshire were headed when they 
gathered at the port of Stromness in the Orkneys. 
On June 28, 1813, the colonists embarked on the 
Prince of Wales and put to sea under convoy of a 
sloop-of-war. It was a terrible voyage. Ship fever 
— now known as typhoid — broke out, and the con- 
finement and congested quarters proved fatal to 
many. The ship's surgeon was among the first to 
succumb, the disease spread rapidly to passengers 
and crew, and there were many burials at sea. An- 
other misfortune was the blundering of the skipper 
who put the colonists ashore at Fort Churchill, 
instead of carrying them on down the western coast 
of Hudson's Bay to York Factory where Selkirk 
expected the expedition to land. 

The settlers, weakened with fever, made what 
preparations they could for passing the winter at 



384 



THE PALIMPSEST 



Fort Clinrcliill. Oil the sheltered, well-wooded bank 
of the Churchill Eiver about fifteen miles from the 
fort, they built rough log houses. Thus it was nec- 
essary to make a thirty-mile trip by sledge or on 
snowshoes to the factory store to secure oatmeal 
and other provisions. Early in November, however, 
partridges appeared in such numbers that fresh 
meat was not wanting. 

In the spring the colonists took up the overland 
journey to York Factory, travelling on snowshoes, 
drawing stores and provisions on rough sledges, 
camping at nightfall, and moving forward with the 
first dawn of the northern morning. The strongest 
of the party went ahead to beat the trail for the 
women and midway in the long procession marched 
the Highland piper, skirling'' a pibroch" which 
filled the trudging emigrants with the unbending 
pride of their race. Thus the weary stragglers car- 
ried on to York Factory where they met with a hos- 
pitable reception. After a short halt they continued 
their journey by boat and reached Fort Douglas at 
the Forks of the Eed and Assiniboine rivers early in 
the summer of 1814. 

There, on the site of the present city of Winnipeg, 
Governor Miles MacDonnell welcomed the new col- 
onists, alloted to each head of a family one hundred 
acres of land fronting on the Eed Eiver, and sup- 
plied the settlers with horses, arms, ammunition, 
tools, and seed. Help was given them to erect their 
log cabins along the bank of the river. By autumn 



THE SCOTCH GROVE TRAIL 385 



houses and barns were built, potatoes and other 
vegetables were harvested, each family possessed 
some poultry, and a few cows were held in common. 
That winter was the first since the earliest settlers 
had arrived at the Forks in 1812 that the colonists 
found it unnecessary to move south to the Pembina 
River in order to be near the herds of buffalo for 
their food supply. Surely this was the promised 
land. 

But the hostility of the North-West Company to 
the apparently firmly established colony grew apace. 
It was fanned to white heat by Governor MacDon- 
nelPs proclamation prohibiting the servants of the 
North- West Company from taking pemmican, or 
dried venison, from Selkirk's land, and the officers 
of the company began a resolute campaign of subtle 
policy against the colony. During the winter of 1814 
Duncan Cameron at the North- West trading post, 
Fort Gilbralter, across the Red River entertained 
the Kildonan men and women at gay parties. By 
offers of free passage to Upper Canada, by a gen- 
erous promise of land to each settler who would de- 
sert the colony, and by threats, cajolery, and bribes 
he secured the defection of a large number of the 
settlers. When the widowed mother of two of the 
pioneers who afterward came to Iowa was asked to 
desert the settlement she replied, **As for me and 
mine, we will keep faith. We have eaten Selkirk's 
bread, we dwell on lands he bought. We stay here 
as long as he wishes and if we perish, we perish.'' 



386 



THE PALIMPSEST 



During the summer of 1815 a notice signed by 
Cuthbert Grant, who had been appointed by the 
North- West Company to command the Bois-Brules, 
or French-Indian half-breeds, ordered the rest of the 
settlers to retire immediately from the Eed Eiver. 
The capture of Governor MacDonnell and an attack 
on the colony compelled the remnant of Selkirk's 
colonists to depart. They sorrowfully quitted their 
homes and proceeded in canoes to the mouth of Eed 
Eiver thence across Lake Winnipeg to a new abode 
at a trading post on Jack Eiver. With fierce exul- 
tation the employees of the North-West Company 
applied the torch to cabins and barns and trampled 
the crops under foot. 

In the meantime another party of settlers had been 
recruited from Sutherlandshire and were en route 
for the abandoned Eed Eiver Settlement. With these 
^ ^ Hielanders ' ' in the expedition of 1815 came the 
new governor, Eobert Semple. Word of the ap- 
proaching reinforcements induced the fugitives on 
Jack Eiver to return to the site of their colony and 
upon the arrival of Governor Semple and old neigh- 
bors from Kildonan the Scotch began to rebuild 
their ruined homes. 

The influx of more immigrants, however, only 
added fuel to the flame of hatred between the rival 
fur companies. During the following winter the 
blaze kindled and in the summer of 1816 the con- 
flagration swept down upon the Eed Eiver Colony 
in the attack of Bois-Brules led by Cuthbert Grant. 



THE SCOTCH GROVE TRAIL 387 



Governor Semple and a score of men lay dead after 
the fatal clash at Seven Oaks on the afternoon of 
June 19, 1816. Again the ill-fated colonists with- 
drew down the Eed River. 

Lord Selkirk himself now came to the rescue of 
his unhappy people. "With a force organized from 
the disbanded De Meuron regiment of mercenary 
soldiers of the War of 1812 he swooped down on 
Fort William, the headquarters of the North- West 
Company on Lake Superior, and captured it. Then 
in 1817 he visited the Red River Settlement where 
he was able to rally his scattered colonists and to 
assure them of protection. He listened sympathet- 
ically to their complaints, shook the hand of every- 
one, deeded them tracts of land for a church, a 
cemetery, and a school, and directed that the settle- 
ment should be called ^^Kildonan'' after their old 
home in Scotland. To the soldiers of the De Meuron 
regiment he alloted land on the east side of the Red 
River. Arrangements were made for an experi- 
mental farm on a large scale, while public roads, 
bridges, and a new mill site were planned. More- 
over, a treaty with surrounding tribes of Indians 
gave the settlers assurance of freedom from attack 
by the savages. 

Lord Selkirk's vigorous assault upon the North- 
West Company, however, resulted disastrously for 
him. Arrested and tried for his part in the affair he 
was found guilty and fined, while those concerned 
in the massacre of Seven Oaks were acquitted. 



388 



THE PALIMPSEST 



This broke tlie spirit of Selkirk and lie died in 1820 
a disappointed man. One year later a union was 
effected between the Hudson's Bay Company and 
their ancient foes, the North- West Company. 

Apparently the troubles of the Scotch colonists 
on the Red Eiver were over and no longer would 
they be ground like wheat between the upper and 
nether millstones of the two rival fur companies. 
But they were not happy. Farming in this country 
of long, cold winters and short summers was but 
little more of a success than it had been in the bleak, 
rough Highlands of Sutherlandshire. Moreover, 
there was no market for surplus products when there 
were any. The school and church promised by the 
Hudson's Bay Company had not materialized. True, 
a rector of the Church of England came to the 
colony ; but shades of solemn leagues and covenants 
and Jenny Geddes with her stool, could Scotch Pres- 
byterians be satisfied with a minister of the Church 
of England? Grasshopper plagues, too, ruined the 
crops for two or three seasons and as in the early 
days of the colony, hunting had to be resorted to for 
a living. The arbitrary rules of the Company caused 
much dissatisfaction. Agents inspected everything 
that was shipped out and all furs had to be sold 
through the Company. The colonists called the 
Hudson's Bay Company the ^^Smug Old Lady". 

To the credit of the Company, be it said, however, 
that honest efforts were made in behalf of the colony. 
Sheep were brought from the United States at great 




THE SELKIRK SETTLEMENT 



■A 



THE SCOTCH GROVE TRAIL 



389 



expense, and horses and cattle were imported from 
England at heavy cost. The experimental farm pro- 
jected by Selkirk was like a baronial estate. At one 
time when grasshoppers had destroyed the crops, 
agents of the colony purchased some three hundred 
bushels of wheat, oats, and peas at Prairie du Chein, 
Wisconsin, and when the seed was finally delivered 
at Eed Eiver Colony the cost to the Company was 
said to be £1040 sterling. 

Confronted with all these disadvantages of the 
Eed Eiver Colony while the children grew to matur- 
ity, the canny Scotchmen began to ponder ways of 
improving their situation. Word filtered back over 
the Eed Eiver trail from St. Paul of opportunities 
to buy cheap farms in the rich valley of the Missis- 
sippi Eiver in the States''. Many Swiss immi- 
grants whom Selkirk's agents had sent to the Eed 
Eiver Settlement in the early twenties had already 
migrated to the reputed Eldorado of the South. 
Accordingly, in 1835 Alexander McLain went down 
to the recently opened strip of territory in eastern 
Iowa known as the Black Hawk Purchase". Like 
Joshua of old he explored the country, and carried 
back a glowing report of a fertile prairie land, well 
watered and having sufficient timber for building, 
located about fifty miles from Dubuque. 

After his return to the settlement, a group consist- 
ing of John Sutherland, with his ten sons and two 
daughters, Alexander Sutherland, David McCoy, 
Joseph Brimner, and Alexander McLain with their 



390 



THE PALIMPSEST 



families set out on the thousand mile trek to a new 
promised land. They loaded into their Pembina 
carts a few possessions — bedding, cooking uten- 
sils, coarse flour, pemmican, clothing, tools, and some 
relics brought from Scotland — and departed on the 
long, hard trip. 

The Red River or Pembina cart was a home in- 
vention. They were rude, wooden vehicles put to- 
gether without a particle of iron. The wheels were 
without tires, were five or six feet in diameter, and 
had a tread about four inches wide. From the base 
of the rectangular body of the cart extended the 
heavy shafts between which one animal, usually an 
ox, was harnessed with strips of rawhide. Each 
cart could carry a load of six or eight hundred 
pounds which was protected from rain by a buifalo 
robe or canvas cover. These carts, while crude and 
clumsy in appearance, would go where another ve- 
hicle would flounder. 

Day by day the caravan crawled slowly south- 
ward, while the heavy wheels which had never 
known grease kept up an incessant creaking and 
groaning. When night approached the carts were 
drawn into a circle with the shafts pointing inward 
and within this temporary fortification camp was 
pitched. The animals were either allowed to graze 
or tethered on the outside of the circle. Every pre- 
caution was taken to guard against an Indian attack, 
and the men stood watch in turn until dawn. Rivers 
were forded and numerous sloughs and marshes 



THE SCOTCH GROVE TRAIL 391 



crossed, the wide-wheeled carts leaving a deep track 
in the soft ground of the lowlands. Mosquitoes, 
black flies, and gnats tormented the plodding cara- 
van; and the mid-day sun beat down without mercy 
upon them. Sometimes the carts sank to the hubs 
in mud and water ; again the travellers were covered 
with a thick coat of dust as the carts in single file 
rolled along the Red River trail. Sometimes roving 
bands of Indians approached and killed a cow which 
the settlers could ill afford to lose. 

On they came, making about fifteen miles a day, 
across the present State of Minnesota and down the 
west side of the Mississippi River to Dubuque. The 
same fortitude that enabled the tenants of Kildonan 
to brave the perils of a long ocean voyage and to en- 
dure the hardships at the Red River Colony enabled 
this first group of Scotch pioneers to push on to the 
banks of the Maquoketa River. Although the effect 
of the long and toilsome journey of almost four 
months was traced on nearly every face in lines of 
care, the sight of their new home restored hope. 
Along the banks of the river, as far as they could 
see, a belt of timber marked its course. Before them 
stretched the fertile prairie in an almost unbroken 
level to the sky line. The prairie grass was most 
luxuriant and the fall flowers, richly tinted, bloomed 
on every side. The future loomed large. 

In 1838 a second band came from the Red River 
Colony to the Scotch Grove settlement. In this 
party, among others, were Donald and Ebenezer 



392 



THE PALIMPSEST 



Sutherland and Donald Sinclair with their families. 
Mrs. Sinclair had been a waiting maid in Scotland 
and her stories of conrt life were in continual de- 
mand by her companions. Her husband was a peace- 
able, devout man yet fearless in defending his rights. 
It is related that on this trip one of the bachelors in 
the group spoke insultingly to Mrs. Sinclair, who 
replied, "If you say that again, I'll slap your 
mouth. ' ' 

'^I'll do more than slap your mouth,'' was the 
man's retort. 

Suddenly from somewhere appeared Donald Sin- 
clair who had by chance overheard the conversation. 
"Ye '11 hae to slap me, first, mon," he said quietly, 
and then he proceeded to administer a thorough 
thrashing to the man who had annoyed his wife. 

This trip, like the first emigration, occupied the 
entire summer and the weary travellers arrived at 
the Scotch Grove settlement in the early autumn. 
Again in 1840 another delegation followed the route 
of the Eed River trail to St. Paul and thence south 
to the Iowa prairies of Jones County. In this group 
were Donald and John Livingston, David Esson, 
and Lawrence Devaney with their families. The 
Devaneys quit the caravan at Dubuque, where a son 
was born. 

In some ways this was the most difficult and dis- 
couraging journey of the three principal migrations 
to Iowa. On the Red River section of the trail the 
guide took sick and one of the party, in endeavoring 



THE SCOTCH GROVE TRAIL 393 



to fill his place, led tlie caravan through the swamps 
of Minnesota for days and finally emerged at the 
spot where they had entered. Grandmother Living- 
ston was an old lady when this journey began. She 
could have remained with friends on the Bed River 
but she insisted upon making the trip. She rode in 
one of the jolting, springless carts and was warned 
not to try to get out of it without help. Somehow 
she eluded the vigilance of her relatives one day and 
in trying to climb down from the box of the cart 
alone, she slipped and broke a leg. What was to be 
done? No doctor, no splints! The men set the 
broken bone and bound the fracture with bark for 
splints and strips of sheets for bandages. Feather 
beds were piled in the cart to make the suffering 
woman as comfortable as possible but the jolting of 
the rude conveyance was unbearable. As soon as 
the headwaters of the Mississippi were reached the 
men constructed a crude raft on which the injured 
woman was placed and one of her sons was assigned 
the task of poling the raft downstream. The route 
of the caravan led away from the river and great 
apprehension was felt about the progress of the raft 
and its occupants. When the emigrants again ap- 
proached the river several days were spent in anx- 
ious waiting before the raft was sighted floating 
downstream. This journey like the others occupied 
the entire summer but eventually the wayfarers, 
Grandmother Livingston and all, were welcomed by 
friends who had preceded them to Scotch Grove. 



394 



THE PALIMPSEST 



During the years of the migrations to Jones 
County other Scotch ^^Hielanders'' from Eed River 
Colony came southward but were deflected to other 
localities. James Livingston, Alexander Rose, and 
Angus Matthieson, for instance, settled in Upper 
Scotch Grove where the town of Hopkinton is lo- 
cated ; while the Mclntyres, Campbells, and some of 
the Matthiesons crossed the Mississippi to the lead- 
mine region opposite Bellevue, Iowa. 

Pioneer days at Scotch Grove and in Upper 
Scotch Grove were laborious, yet the settlers were 
happy for nature was kind to them and the future 
was filled with promise. Log cabins were built, 
gardens were spaded, and the fields were planted. 
Everyone worked — men, women, and children. 

To-day a visitor stopping at one of the prosperous 
homes of Scotch Grove may observe two round 
stones, six inches thick and about two feet in diam- 
eter, used as a door step. These old quern stones, 
brought from the Highlands to Red River, and 
thence to Iowa, are mute reminders of the days 
when two Scotch women, squatting on the floor, 
alternately pushed and pulled the handle of the 
upper stone while the wheat, poured by hand into a 
hole in the middle of the top stone, was ground into 
coarse flour between the corrugated faces of the 
quern and fell from the edges to a cloth on the floor 
below. 

Bee trees along the Maquoketa supplied the set- 
tlers with honey which was stored in improvised 



THE SCOTCH GROVE TRAIL 395 



kegs made from thick logs. Bunches of wild grapes 
mixed with the honey made a tasty sauce to spread 
on hot biscuits. The cooking was done in the fire- 
places where ^ crane supporting a heavy iron kettle 
was swung over the fire. ^ ^ Scones ' or thin biscuits, 
were baked in skillets which stood on short iron legs 
over a bed of coals at the edge of the fireplace. 
Fried pies — a favorite dessert — were made by 
cutting a round crust the size of a saucer, pouring 
cooked sauce on one half, folding the other half over 
and crimping the edges together, then frying the 
pastry in a skillet or kettle of hot grease. To-day a 
Selkirk teapot, a few copper utensils, some heavy 
iron skillets, lidded pots with little legs, and a square 
tin candle lantern with perforated sides — surviving 
relics of the long trail — are the prized possessions 
of the descendants of these Scotch pioneers. 

For many years the nearest mill to the Scotch 
Grove settlers was on Catfish Creek and the nearest 
market for grain and hogs was Dubuque, fifty miles 
distant. Then it took a day and a half to go to 
market while to-day the grandchildren of these pio- 
neers make the trip to Dubuque in almost as many 
hours. Two of the Livingstons from the Upper 
Grove on separate trips to Dubuque were frozen to 
death in prairie blizzards. The wife of one of these 
men, mother of nine children, set to work with 
Scotch fortitude to keep the farm and to raise and 
educate her family. Her success was another tri- 
umph for Scotch frugality and industry. 



396 



THE PALIMPSEST 



The Jones County settlement prospered mate- 
rially, and at the same time religion and education 
were not neglected. The First Presbyterian Church 
of Scotch Grove was organized in the log house of 
Ebenezer Sutherland in 1841, and has been the cen- 
ter of the community life of the township to this day. 
In 1851 a church was built and ten years later a 
larger and finer house of worship was erected by 
these devout Scotchmen. The eccentric Michael 
Hummer, of Hummer's BelP' fame, was the first 
minister who served this parish. Other strong men 
have since been ministers of the Scotch Grove 
church and their influence has extended wherever 
the children of the pioneers have gone. 

The older men and women who came from Red 
Eiver used the Gaelic language extensively, espe- 
cially when asking a blessing at meals or in offering 
prayers in public. During the early seventies a 
Scotch evangelist came to Scotch Grove to assist the 
minister, Eeverend John Eice, in conducting a ''pro- 
tracted meeting". One Sunday, the evangelist 
consented to preach a sermon in Gaelic. As the 
impassioned words of his discourse rang out from 
the pulpit in the language they loved so well, tears 
welled up in the eyes of these men and women of the 
long trail and rolled unheeded down their cheeks. 

The pioneers also provided schools for the 
''bairns", first at different homes in the settlement, 
then in a log cabin schoolhouse built near the center 
of the township. In 1860 a more commodious 
schoolhouse was erected. The teacher boarded 



THE SCOTCH GROVE TRAIL 397 



'round and received sixteen dollars a month for his 
services. Nor was higher education neglected, for 
the rolls of Lenox College at Hopkinton contain the 
names of many Scotch Grove boys and girls who 
went to college in the days when this privilege was 
accorded only to a small number of Iowa's youn^: 
men and women. 

Little wonder was it that in such a locality where 
industry and religion went hand in hand and where 
love of home and interest in education were out- 
standing traits that patriotism, too, was genuine 
and vigorous. The records of the Civil War show 
that no men were drafted from Scotch Grove Town- 
ship ; in fact, the township furnished more than its 
quota of volunteers. The muster rolls of the World 
War reveal the names of many lads whose grand- 
fathers and great grandfathers followed the long 
trail from the Eed Eiver to Iowa. 

The descendants of these pioneers are proud of 
their families and their Scotch blood. Why 
shouldn't they be? The story of the long journey 
from the Highlands of Sutherlandshire to Lord 
Selkirk's Colony and by ox-cart brigade to Iowa is a 
tale of courageous adventure. Let them revere the 
flowers of the clans to which they have a right to 
belong. Let them honor their tartans" or 
plaids" — backgrounds of green or black or red or 
blue with fine overlay in lines of contrasting color. 
Let them thrill with pride to hear the songs of Old 
Scotland. It is their rightful heritage. 

Bruce E. Mahan 



Comment by the Editor 



IOWA DIALECT 

Literature is likely to be language in a formal 
mood. Perhaps it could be described as language 
in its parlor manners, if it is permissible to use that 
expression in its colloquial sense. At all events 
written language tends to become rigid, dignified, 
and nice. It loses the flexibility of pronunciation, 
the friendly familiarity, and the flavor of the dialect 
from which it sprang. Except for the terms of sci- 
ence and invention, which are taken bodily from the 
classical Greek or Latin, language grows from the 
speech of every-day life. 

There was a time not long ago when dialect words 
were regarded as barbarisms to be studiously 
avoided, but now they are recognized as an essential 
part of the language of a people. Forsooth, nearly 
all new words that are particularly apt, picturesque, 
and full of the genius of idiom are dialectic. Dialect 
words have personality. Being linguistically youth- 
ful, they have the vitality and unabashed candor of 
children. They might be conceived as the second 
generation of slang grown highly respectable like 
prosperous tradespeople, and yet they have none of 
the stilted refinement of literary usage. 

Every language was once a dialect, born in igno- 

398 



COMMENT BY THE EDITOR 399 



ranee. And it has come to pass that the talk of the 
common people, even the illiterate, is the fountain 
of perpetual youth in any tongue. The speech of 
the southern negro is rich in distinctive dialect. 
Narrow interests, provincialism, new environment, 
and an atmosphere of easy democracy are the condi- 
tions in which dialects thrive. Under just such 
circumstances — so prevalent in pioneer Iowa — 
much of the abusing of God's patience and the 
King's English'' has probably occurred. 

Life on the Mississippi in early times was espe- 
cially conducive to the coining of dialect words. 
The lightering crews on the Des Moines Eapids 
spoke the lingo of Mark Twain's rivermen, and 
probably contributed their share to river dialect. 
Who but a denizen of the levee would know what 

filling and backing" meant, what a sawyer" was, 
or understand the leadsmen's cry of **mark twain"? 
A stevedore on the lighter-boats was called a 

ratter" — perhaps because he carried grain in and 
out of the hold like a rat, just as the men who handle 
the baggage of tourists in Yellowstone Park are 
called **pack rats". A workman who accepts less 
than union wages or takes the job of a striker is 
colloquially known as a **rat", and the antagonism 
of the lighter loaders toward outsiders may have 
earned for them the epithet of ratters". Another 
peculiar expression of the lightermen was ^'gouger", 
referring to the member of the boat crew who 
manned the sweep at the stern, because he gouged 



400 



THE PALIMPSEST 



his oar into the bed of the shallow stream and thus 
guided the craft between the rocks. 

The settlers of Iowa came from little provincial 
communities at the ends of the earth — from the 
villages of New England and the farms of New 
York, from the tobacco plantations of Virginia and 
the blue-grass region of Kentucky, from the Eed 
Eiver of the North and various parts of the Old 
Country — and they brought their dialects along. 
Here they found fur traders, miners, and half- 
breeds, each group speaking a tongue of its own. 
And they also encountered a new environment and 
devised new modes of living — all of which stimu- 
lated the use of new words. No wonder the lan- 
guage of early lowans was rich in dialect. 

A careful study of dialect words, as Frank L. 
Mott suggests, would help to determine the geo- 
graphical origins of the settlers of Iowa. Did they 
come predominantly from the South, as some sup- 
pose, or were they chiefly of New England stock? 
Examine their speech. The words quern", 
**reek", **skirP', pibroch", scone", **pemmi- 
can", and Pembina cart" would place the Selkirk 
Scotchmen of Jones County, though the story of 
their migration were lost. 

J. E. B. 




CONTENTS 



The Scrap«Books of a Quiet 

Little Lady with Silvery Hair 401 

Bertha M. H. Shambaugh 

Comment 428 

The Editor 

Index 431 



Published Monthly At lowACmr By 

IHE State HBioM SoMofIowa 



ENTERED AS SECOND CLASS HATTER JULY 28 1920 AT THE POST OFFICE AT IOWA CITY IOWA 
UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 24 1912 



THE PURPOSE OF THIS MAGAZINE 

The Palimpsest, issued monthly by the State His- 
torical Society of Iowa, is devoted to the dissemina- 
tion of Iowa History. Supplementing the other pub- 
lications of this5ociety, it aims to present the materials 
of Iowa History in a form that is attractive and a style 
that is popular in the best sense — to the end that the 
story of our Commonwealth may be more widely read 
and cherished. 

BENJ. F. Shambaugh 

Superintendent 



THE MEANING OF PALIMPSESTS 

In early times palimpsests were parchments or other 
materials from which one or more writings had been 
erased to give room for later records. But the eras- 
ures were not always complete; and so it became the 
fascinating task of scholars not only to translate the 
later records but also to reconstruct the original writ- 
ings by deciphering the dim fragments of letters partly 
erased and partly covered by subsequent texts. 

The history of Iowa may be likened to a palimpsest 
which holds the records of successive generations. To 
decipher these records of the past, reconstruct them, 
and tell the stories which they contain is the task of 
those who write history. 



PRICE — 10c per copy: $1 per year: free to members of Society 
ADDRESS— The State Historical Society Iowa City Iowa 




Ool.yright lOli), Towuaond Studio, lowu City 



JANE CLARK KIRKWOOD 



The Palimpsest 

EDITED BY JOHN ELY BRIGGS 
|VoL. IV Issued in December 1923 No. 12 

COPYRIOHT 1923 BY THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF IOWA 

The Scrap-Books of a Quiet Little 
Lady with Silvery Hair 

In his preface to The Life and Times of Samuel J. 
Kirhwoodj Mr. H. W. Lathrop speaks of Governor 
Kirkwood's '^faithful wife'' who had from time to 
time during his official life gathered from the public 
press facts relating to him ^*and treasured them 
up". Whoever remembers Mrs. Kirkwood during 
the almost thirty years that she outlived her dis- 
tinguished husband knows that no one could 
improve upon Mr. Lathrop's description of her at- 
tachment to her scrap-books. She loved them; she 
planned for them; and she treasured them up*'.^ 

There are evidences that these scrap-books were 
often loaned to statf correspondents and special fea- 
ture writers ; and in his biography of Samuel J or dan 

1 It was after her death in her one-hundredth year, that these 
scrap-books were added to the Kirkwood Collections in the library of 
the State Historical Society of Iowa, through the kindness of Mrs. 
Kirkwood 's nephew, Mr. C. S. Lucas of Iowa City. 



401 



402 



THE PALIMPSEST 



Kirkwood, as published in the Iowa Biographical 
Series, Mr. Dan Elbert Clark tells of his gratitude 
to Mrs. Kirkwood who generously placed valuable 
materials at the writer's disposal", and in his 
notes and references he makes mention of the 
^ ' small' ' and the ^ ^ large ' ' Kirkwood scrap-books. 

Both of the scrap-books are of the **Mark Twain" 
type, with columns of gummed lines to which the 
clippings are attached. The small book of one hun- 
dred pages with two columns to a page was appar- 
ently made up first and contains about two hundred 
and forty clippings, ranging in length from three 
lines to nine pages. The large book — more inti- 
mately associated with Mrs. Kirkwood during the 
extraordinary one score and ten years above the 
traditional allotment of three score years and ten 
that were meted out to her — is a volume of one 
hundred and forty-eight pages with three columns 
to a page and contains approximately four hundred 
clippings. Between the leaves of both books are 
scattered loose clippings and other memoranda to 
the number of one hundred and thirty pieces, cover- 
ing a period from 1863 to 1921. 

It appears that Mrs. Kirkwood had always been 
quite a hand to save the papers". Sometimes she 
clipped news or editorial paragraphs relating to her 
husband and laid them away, usually without dates 
or data indicating their source ; sometimes she pre- 
served the entire paper or the page containing a 
marked paragraph; and occasionally the date, the 



THE KIRKWOOD SCRAP-BOOKS 403 



Iname of the town in which the paper was published, 
or other memoranda were written in pencil on the 
margin. scrap for my scrap-book reads one 
marginal note written in her ninety-seventh year. 
Here and there bits of the handwriting of Governor 
Kirkwood and of Mr. Lathrop appear — showing 
the interest of the Governor and his contemporary 
biographer in the collection. 

Such marginal notes as *^An extra copy of the 
paper containing the sketch'', ^^From Lizzie", **J. 
M. H.", *'For Aunt Jane", *'For your collection", 
and the presence of many duplicates bespeaks the 
interest of friends and relatives. Eleven copies of 
the newspaper story of Mrs. Kirkwood 's ninety- 
third birthday are preserved in the large book and 
loose clippings. Now and then an item is blue- 
penciled — apparently by the editor who sent the 
paper. Some of the articles bear the corrections of 
an experienced proof-reader. One of the untrimmed 
clippings has attached to it the printed notice of a 
clipping bureau — which might have been a volun- 
tary contribution, or possibly Mrs. Kirkwood sought 
such assistance in collecting materials for her scrap- 
books. 

Before pasting the clippings in the scrap-books, 
Mrs. Kirkwood as a rule cut away folio lines and 
marginal memoranda, though sometimes she wrote 
in pencil between the columns the name of the news- 
paper from which the item was clipped. Seldom, 
however, are there any dates — except as they occur 



404 



THE PALIMPSEST 



in the body of the clipping. But with a little study, 
two-thirds of the items are easily identified; and 
they represent one hundred and seventy-five differ- 
ent newspapers. Of this number one hundred and 
ten are Iowa papers, while the sixty-five papers 
published beyond the borders of the State range 
from New York City to San Francisco. About 
ninety-seven per cent of the clippings relate directly 
to Governor Kirkwood. One wonders whether there 
is in existence in Iowa another such collection of the 
opinions of the public press of a given period on any 
one subject. 

The idea of bringing the clippings together in 
scrap-books, however early conceived, was appar- 
ently not carried out until after Governor Kirkwood 
had retired from public life. While the small book 
contains items dealing almost entirely with Gov- 
ernor Kirkwood as Secretary of the Interior and 
with * Apolitical gossip and editorial speculation" 
regarding **The Next Senatorial Term'', here and 
there in the early pages a reference to his nomina- 
tion as Eepresentative to Congress from the Second 
Congressional District (1886) slips in, revealing the 
fact that the scrap-books are a backward look over a 
sunny track. Perhaps it was the wealth of material 
dealing with this period that led Mrs. Kirkwood to 
begin the first book with the clippings pertaining to 
the Governor's position in President Garfield's 
Cabinet ; and it may have been her intention to work 
backward from that period. 



THE KIRKWOOD SCRAP-BOOKS 405 



That Governor Kirkwood had often been urged to 
vvrite his autobiography and had thought very seri- 
ously of so doing, we learn from various clippings in 
:he scrap-books. '*We have been urging Gov. Kirk- 
wood for years to write a sketch of it" (the famous 
30uncil of the war governors of the North), reads a 
3lipping from the Des Moines Register, **and he has 
jalways promised to do it, but in the hurry and 
3rowded occupation of a busy life he either forgets it 
or is unable to find the time to do it. But if he does 
not do it pretty soon we shall sue him for breach of 
promise .... Such men as he owe a duty to 
the Commonwealth to preserve such things to its 
future record and renown, and it is hoped that he 
and several others who like him were prominent in 
early Iowa and during the war, will at least pre- 
serve such facts to the future Iowa in some form, 
either by way of autobiography or otherwise." 

It may have been with this thought in mind that 
Mrs. Kirkwood began the first scrap-book. In the 
end Governor Kirkwood seems to have compromised 
on the autobiography by assisting Mr. Lathrop in 
compiling The Life and Times of Samuel J. KirJc- 
wood. This book was published in 1893 and Gov- 
ernor Kirkwood died on September 1, 1894. On the 
flyleaf of the first scrap-book is a column of figures 
written by Mr. Lathrop referring to certain pages 
where clippings are marked for special attention. 
It is the belief of those who knew him best that this 
was done under the guidance of Governor Kirkwood, 



406 



THE PALIMPSEST 



The clippings relating to Governor Kirkwood's 
position in the Cabinet and his seat in the United 
States Senate overflow into the large scrap-book; 
but the hand that ^'treasured them up" is less cer- 
tain, and as early as the twenty-fourth page there 
creeps in the first indirect reference to the death of 
Governor Kirkwood in an Interesting Historical 
Paper reprinted from the May number of the West- 
ern Reserve Law Journal. In the unorganized mass 
of material which fills the remaining one hundred 
and twenty-four pages of this book, in the duplicated 
clippings, as well as in the many pages of newspaper 
reports relating to the death of the Governor, one 
reads the story of a great sorrow ; and one realizes, 
too, that only a great love could have given the 
^^faithful wife'* who ^'treasured them up'' the 
strength and the courage to go forward with her 
clippings. 

Little by little whatever she had gathered found 
its way into the large scrap-book with little regard 
to time or subject matter. Here, for example, are 
complete newspaper reports of Governor Kirk- 
wood's speeches (one as old as the Civil War and 
some as new as the campaign in the Second Con- 
gressional District in 1886) with a sprinkling of 
newspaper comment and expression of popular 
sentiment regarding the Governor in the seventies 
and eighties. Here also are long sketches of his 
life and public career, with a wealth of tribute, 
reminiscence, and anecdote. Some of these were 



THE KIRKWOOD SCRAP-BOOKS 407 



written in the twilight of an honored age and others 
when the two generations who had loved and hon- 
ored him as no other man" bowed their heads and 
said, **What a strange Iowa it is without Kirk- 
wood". 

^^Kirkwood, like Lincoln," reads a sketch in one 
of the Chicago papers which apparently was issued 
shortly after Governor Kirkwood's death, '^was 
largely indebted for his wonderful popularity to the 
promulgation by those who knew him best of numer- 
ous anecdotes and pleasantries which never failed to 
win the love and confidence of his fellow-men. Ex- 
Go v. Kirkwood belonged distinctively to that type of 
public men, now rapidly passing away, which was 
bred to hardship and adventure, and which shared 
the ruggedness and self-reliance characteristic of 
the generation in which they lived. ' ' 

Anecdotes regarding Kirkwood appear to have 
been great favorites with the public press. One 
newspaper would print a story, which would remind 
a second paper of another; and these reprinted 
would call forth new ones. Sometimes these anec- 
dotes were gathered together under the heading of 
*^Kirkwoodiana" or ^^Kirkwoodisms" which were 
copied in whole or in part in the newspapers of Cali- 
fornia, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Minnesota, Illi- 
nois, Indiana, and Georgia. 

And how the Iowa newspapers and the Iowa peo- 
ple loved these Kirkwood anecdotes! They deal 
with the Governor's public service and political 



408 



THE PALIMPSEST 



faith, with his horse, his mill, his farm, his dress, his 
manner, and his personal appearance. They deal 
with his ability as a public speaker, his sharp re- 
partee, his grim sense of humor, his Lincoln-like gift 
for apt and homely illustration, and his fearlessness 
in the expression of opinion. And they deal with 
his prophetic wisdom, his sense of fair play, his 
absolute integrity, his faith in the State of Iowa, 
and his hold on the affections of the common people. 
It is not surprising that many of these anecdotes 
found their way into Mrs. Kirkwood's treasure 
books. 

Scattered throughout seventy-eight pages, min- 
gled with items on the **01d Man Eloquent'' in 
action and **The Eustling of the Leaves of Mem- 
ory", are many columns filled with the reports of the 
birthday anniversaries of Governor Kirkwood, 
ranging from his seventy-sixth birthday, when he 
**is in good health and with a mental vigor un- 
abated'' and is urged by the public press to write his 
autobiography, to his eightieth anniversary which is 
reported as A Notable Day" when a few of his inti- 
mate friends met in a body and without public dem- 
onstration found their way quietly to the Governor's 
residence. 

Many clippings of various lengths and from vari- 
ous sources tell the story of *^The Surprise Party" 
which occurred less than a year before the Gov- 
ernor's death when friends from all parts of Iowa 
met under the leadership of Hon, Buren B, Sherman 



THE KIRKWOOD SCRAP-BOOKS 409 



*'to make him a social calP' at the Kirkwood home. 
It was a beautiful thought, beautifully carried out; 
and it was said after his death that this tribute gave 
the Governor greater happiness than did any public 
honor in his long public career. * *It speaks volumes 
of praise for the man'', said the Chicago Inter 
Ocean, *^when in the midst of a great political cam- 
paign, with every man fighting for his own political 
faith as though the salvation of the country depend- 
ed upon it, the people, without regard to party dif- 
ferences, unite in an old fashioned surprise party to 
do honor to ex-Governor Kirkwood of Iowa, as they 
did at his home in Iowa City last Wednesday." 

Under the headline of Goodness is Greatness" a 
note sounded in the speech of Judge Wright re- 
ceived State-wide publicity with much newspaper 
comment. Without praise", said Judge Wright 
when addressing the venerable War Governor on 
this occasion, **I can say that you are the emphatic 
exemplification of the fact that goodness is great- 
ness ; and whether one rules, or plows, or sows, doing 
one's duty is goodness". Upon which one news- 
paper comments: ''Of all the eulogies of the War 
Governor that have been written and pronounced, 
the words of Judge George G. Wright are the purest 
gold. 'Goodness is greatness' .... Place it 
on his monument. Eepeat it to every college stu- 
dent, to every school boy. Send it on the wings of 
the wind, 'Goodness is greatness' ". 

Here and there in the last third of the large scrap- 



410 



THE PALIMPSEST 



book — added apparently long after the clippings 
wHcli recorded Iowa's Sorrow'' — are full news- 
paper accounts of the unveiling of the Yewell por- 
trait in the Capitol at Des Moines when Governor 
Kirkwood was *Hoo feeble to be in attendance to 
hear the words of praise which his old associates 
were about to bestow upon him". Likewise there 
are reports of the exhibition of the portrait in Iowa 
City where for * ^forty-eight hours, hundreds and 
hundreds .... gazed in admiration and ven- 
eration upon that dear and familiar face looking out 
from the frame of gold". It is recorded that Gov- 
ernor Kirkwood admired the picture very much, but 
insisted that ^^It is better looking than I am." 

Through the entire collection of clippings in the 
scrap-books runs the theme of the Civil War. Only 
a few of the references to the great conflict are 
actual snapshots ; but there are a multitude of flash- 
backs in reminiscences and anecdotes of, and trib- 
utes to Iowa's Old War Governor", in reports of 
G. A. E. reunions. Memorial Day celebrations, and 
in the ever present reference to the war in the 
speeches of Governor Kirkwood. This habit of re- 
ferring to the Civil War was sometimes deplored in 
Democratic papers as ^ having the bloody shirt" — 
to which Governor Kirkwood was wont to reply (as 
he did in a stump speech in Indiana) in such lan- 
guage as the following: 

**Now, my friends, I have a profound respect for 
the bloody shirt. [Loud cheers.] I sent to the field 



THE KIRKWOOD SCRAP-BOOKS 411 



from my own State of Iowa 50,000 as brave men as 
ever marched. Many of them wore the bloody shirt 
before they returned home. [Cheers.] Many of 
them were buried in their bloody shirts, and never 
came home. I say that the bloody shirt, to me, sym- 
bolizes patriotism as pure, and devotion to duty as 
earnest, and courage as splendid as this world has 
ever seen. [Enthusiastic cheers.] I say to you that 
I have seen men, living and dead, wearing the bloody 
shirt, the latchets of whose shoes no Northern man 
who sneers at it ever was or will be worthy to un- 
loose. [Eenewed cheering.] I have a profound re- 
spect for it, and I have a profound contempt for the 
spirit that will urge any Northern man to sneer at it. 
[Great applause.] " 

With no other Imowledge of the man than that 
revealed by the headless and dateless collection of 
clippings treasured up" by *^his faithful wife'^ 
one would learn that Governor Kirkwood's devotion 
to the Union was the great passion of his life, that 
the agitation for the extension of slavery called into 
play all his latent force of character, that he fol- 
lowed out the issues of the war to their bitter end, 
and that he watched and worked with intense inter- 
est and passionate earnestness throughout the pe- 
riod of reconstruction. From a reading of these 
clippings one can easily understand the echo and the 
re-echo of the * * right side and the wrong side in that 
bloody contest", and the voiced distrust of the 
* * dominating element ' ' of the * * wrong side ' 



412 THE PALIMPSEST 

Said Governor Kirkwood in a Memorial Day ad- 
dress years after his retirement from the Cabinet: 
want you to teach your children and teach them 
to teach their children and their children's children 
to the end of time, that in that fierce struggle 
which cost so much you were right and they [the 
South] were wrong. . . . They believed they 
were right, they were earnest and sincere in believ- 
ing that they were right, but they were wrong. ' ' 

That there was a period when the charm of Kirk- 
wood for the masses was a powerful factor in Iowa 
politics, no one who reads the testimony of the one 
hundred and ten Iowa newspapers represented in 
Mrs. Kirkwood 's scrap-books can doubt. It was a 
factor that had to be reckoned with by the politi- 
cians — a sustaining, perplexing, or irritating fac- 
tor depending upon the viewpoint. Long after the 
Governor had said of himself that **my time for such 
work is pasf , the persistent Kirkwood influence 
manifested itself in such newspaper stories as 
Eeporter has a Chat with Hon. Samuel J. Kirk- 
wood", Interview with Iowa's War Governor", 
Governor Kirkwood on the Situation", Governor 
Kirkwood on the Judgeship", Governor Kirkwood 
on the Pound Bolt", Governor Kirkwood on the 
Temperance Question". 

Fragmentary and in a style that is careless and 
often crude and on occasions somewhat mixed as to 
facts, the press clippings of Mrs. Kirkwood 's scrap- 
books tell a beautiful story of Iowa's admiration and 



THE KIRKWOOD SCRAP-BOOKS 413 



love for Governor Kirkwood, and of the Old War 
Governor's faith in and devotion to the young Com- 
monwealth. 

Kirkwood belongs to Iowa". **No man can 
serve Iowa as Kirkwood can". *^"We are for Kirk- 
wood first last and all the time ". * * Old Sammy car- 
ries his Senatorial seat with him — So his tailor 
says". ^^If Kirkwood wants it, the rest can hang 
their aspirations on the weeping willow tree ". * * The 
people of Iowa can trust Samuel J. Kirkwood, and 
they know they can trust him". There is more 
hard meat underneath the rude shell of his exterior 
than there is in a dozen of your soft-shells who mis- 
take noise for argument and self confidence for 
ability". **Iowa farmers are not willing that the 
Old Man Eloquent with his uncouth but sterling 
honestry and war-tried patriotism should be suc- 
ceeded by anyone but himself". **We want the Old 
War Governor kept there until the Great Eeaper 
comes after him". **No man has ever been such a 
popular idol to Iowa people". *^We say the people 
of Iowa can make him a candidate if they want to, 
and that there is no power in Iowa which can stop 
it". Kirkwood is the choice of the people and not 
the creature of a ring". **The common people of 
this State will see to it that their choice is respected, 
regardless of the tricks of a few very small poli- 
ticians". Such, without retouching, are a few ex- 
pressions of confidence in **The Old Man Sensible" 
by ''nine-tenths of the people of this State"; and 



414 THE PALIMPSEST 

one gathers that the periodical popular outbreaks of 
^'Kirkwood belongs to Iowa'' and *^We want Kirk- 
wood'' often brought consternation to those who 
were ambitious of * ^ standing in his shoes ", or * * get- 
ting his seat", or wearing his mantle". 

-The scrap-books are a veritable storehouse of evi- 
dences of the truth that Kirkwood, in spite of the 
fact that he was forty-two years old when he came to 
Iowa, had been thoroughly assimilated by his adopt- 
ed State and really belonged". From the day he 
took up his residence in Johnson County the State's 
interests and problems were his ; and when speaking 
in the East or in the West his statistics and his illus- 
trations were largely drawn from Iowa, with many a 
fond reference to **what we think about it in Iowa". 

**In the country where I live, which I wish to re- 
mark is the finest State in the whole Union", said 
Kirkwood in 1883, *^we are rearing the typical 
American, the western Yankee, if you choose to call 
him so, the man of grit, the man of nerve, the man of 
broad and liberal views, the man of tolerance of 
opinion, the man of energy, the man who will some 
day dominate this empire of ours". 

In the same speech he adds : You must know that 
the true Bostonian's sun rises behind Plymouth 
Eock, stops for a time over Faneuil Hall in Boston, 
and sets near the mouth of the Hoosac Tunnel. But 
when we get him out here, and knock a little of the 
nonsense out of him, and rub the varnish off, we find 
him to be made of true, tough, solid fibre under- 



THE KIRKWOOD SCRAP-BOOKS 415 



neath, and by no means a man of veneer. He turns 
out a pushing, energetic and useful citizen". 

Nor is this scrap-book history of her distinguished 
husband without its record of Jane Clark Kirkwood, 
the ^ ^faithful wife'', who had from time to time dur- 
ing his official life gathered from the public press 
facts relating to him ^*and treasured them up". 
One of the early clippings in the small book reads : 
*^At the Saturday reception of Mrs. Garfield, her 
only one, Mrs. Kirkwood, who occupied her assigned 
place in the receiving line, was singled out as 
* Grandma Garfield' by some who were superloyally 
anxious to pay respects to as many of the family as 
possible. This was not entirely agreeable to a well- 
preserved matron of 60, and she repudiated the 
honor with proper feminine spirit". In the forty 
years to be granted her after this * ^ Saturday recep- 
tion", Mrs. Kirkwood never lost the ^^snap" re- 
vealed in this clipping. When the photograph of 
Mrs. Kirkwood, which is used as a frontispiece in 
this number of The Palimpsest, was taken for the 
State Historical Society of Iowa in what was then 
her ninety-eighth year, it was the privilege of the 
writer to accompany her to the photographer; and 
one of the delightful memories of that occasion is 
Mrs. Kirkwood 's repudiation of one of the photog- 
rapher's proofs because, she said, *4t makes me look 
like an old lady ! " 

**Mrs. Kirkwood, the wife of the Secretary", 



416 



THE PALIMPSEST 



reads a clipping from the New York Tribune, **is de- 
scribed as a quiet little lady with silvery hair, who 
has been comparatively little in society.'' Com- 
menting upon this characterization an Iowa news- 
paper declared that **this is the way that snobdom 
affects to patronize a lady superior in every respect 
to any of its component elements. The ^ quiet little 
lady with silvery hair' has been *in society' all her 
life. There has never been a day that she has not 
mingled with respectable people ; and these compose 
the highest and the best society. Mrs. Kirkwood is 
able, by virtue of her character, to confer honor up- 
on any company in Washington. That dissipated 
mixture of good, bad and indifferent people which at 
the Capital is called 'society' might well be proud 
should Mrs. Kirkwood condescend to patronize it." 

With the memory of the golden wedding anniver- 
sary more than a quarter of a century old and with 
the shadows lengthening to the eastward, there was 
little for Mrs. Kirkwood to add to the scrap-book 
history save newspaper references to herself. 
Newspaper headings had grown bolder and blacker 
since the days when she figured in the public press as 
one of the Queens of the Cabinet", and generous 
half-tone cuts from photographs of herself had taken 
the place of the etchings from India ink drawings 
that were copied many times in the eighties. Many 
late tributes to her and through her to the memory 
of Iowa's Grand Old Man" are to be found under 
such headings as Widow of the Old War Gov- 



THE KiKK:WOOD SCRAP-BOOKS 41? 



ernor"; '*Mrs. S. J. Kirkwood Honored by the 
Twenty-second Iowa'%- ^^Old Settlers' Picnic — 
Mrs. Jane Clark Kirkwood Present"; *^Mrs. Kirk- 
wood Nonogenarian" ; and * ^ Mrs Kirkwood One and 
Ninety". 

Beyond the ninety-third birthday there are no 
more anniversary items pasted in the scrap-book — 
not because Mrs. Kirkwood had lost interest in her 
clippings : the book was full. So the record of those 
remarkable birthdays that carried her so close to the 
century mark joined the loose clippings of the Civil 
War period, letters that she apparently had hesi- 
tated to put into the company of printed matter, a 
black and gold funeral card announcing the death of 
Governor Kirkwood, a full front page on the work 
of Vinnie Eeam Hoxie with special reference to her 
statue of Governor Kirkwood in the Capitol at 
Washington, notices of programs at the Kirkwood 
School in Iowa City, a newspaper story of her Eed 
Cross work at the age of ninety-six, an account of 
the totem pole at Seattle, and verses relating to the 
Kaiser. 

And finally the last eight pages of this treasured 
record are filled with notices of the deaths and of the 
funeral services of relatives and friends. Brothers 
and sisters who had shared her experience in the 
timber-cleared country of pioneer Ohio, old neigh- 
bors and friends who had helped to rear the young 
State of Iowa, business and professional associates 
of an early elder day whose interests were inter- 



418 



THE PALIMPSEST 



woven with her own — Mrs. Kirkwood had outlived 
them all! 

The Mansfield, Ohio, law office, and the Coralville, 
Iowa, mill were now memories of three score years 
and ten; the old Concord stage ^' that wallowed 
through the snowdrifts between Iowa City and Des 
Moines was only a tale of long ago ; the ^ * Queens of 
the Cabinet'^ of the Garfield administration had 
passed into history these many years; the beloved 
adopted soldier-boy, had he lived, would have been a 
man of seventy-eight years; a generation of men 
and women had grown up about Jane Clark Kirk- 
wood since the observance of her own golden wed- 
ding anniversary. What wonder that the yellowing 
fragments of the scrap-books that opened the gate 
into such a wondrous land of memories were counted 
among the most precious treasures of her life ! 

It is with a feeling of reverence that one replaces 
the loose clippings and closes the scrap-books. Like 
the Old War Governor they, too, belong to Iowa. 

Whatever may have been her motives, Mrs. Kirk- 
wood has in her scrap-book clippings bequeathed to 
us a rare album of pictures of the ' ^ Great Commoner 
of Iowa'', the Genius in Homespun", the idol of a 
people for two generations. Here is something to 
tempt artists born in Iowa with * ^ the divine fire in 
their souls 

Pictures of the dust covered miller, with his trou- 
sers stuffed into his boot tops and a shockingly bad 



THE KIRKWOOD SCRAP-BOOKS 419 



hat on his head meeting the elegant General Augus- 
tus Caesar Dodge in a series of debates which *^were 
second only in importance to the joint debates be- 
tween Lincoln and Douglas the previous year in 
Illinois." What could be more picturesque than the 
**ox-carf episode! 

Pictures of the newly elected War Governor, not 
over careful in his attire, stumping the State and 
pleading with passionate earnestness for men, mon- 
ey, aid, and *^one united effort to save the govern- 
ment in this time of peril' \ 

Pictures of a dominating figure in homespun dur- 
ing those dark days when ^^lowa had not a surplus 
dollar to its credit'' and when his task as a loyal 
Governor exacted the highest form of patriotic 
faith, a patience that would not be overcome by any 
difficulties, a perseverance that could not be im- 
paired, a knowledge of men that would permit him 
to influence them under the most unfavorable condi- 
tions, an ingenuity, a faculty of invention which 
would be .always present and ready to meet and sat- 
isfy the most exigent demand, and a constitution 
that would bear up under incessant strains, both 
mental and physical". 

Pictures of the meeting of two great commoners, 
Samuel J. Kirkwood, as Governor of Iowa, and 
Abraham Lincoln, as President of the United States, 
when the harassed commander-in-chief of the army 
and navy asked ^^What can we do for your State!" 
and the loyal Governor of the young Commonwealth 



420 



THE PALIMPSEST 



of Iowa replied, * * The question is not, Mr. President, 
what you can do for my State, but what my State 
can do for you." Two great commoners between 
whom there was said to be **a mental and moral as 
well as a physical resemblance". Two giants of 
their day, developed by '*the noble alchemy of toil". 
Men who sprang from the people and knew them 
and sympathized with them; who comprehended 
their wants and their tendencies ; and who reaching 
the heights of political preferment yet ever kept in 
closest touch with them. 

Not without dramatic quality is the scrap-book 
story of the nomination of Kirkwood as Governor 
against his will" — a story of an anxious moment 
when the conservative delegates in a Eepublican 
State convention faced defeat by the supporters of 
General James B. Weaver. Suddenly, to the sur- 
prise of friends and foes, ^*a man of kingly stature 
with hair and beard flowing long and white as snow, 
arose in his place, secured attention from the chair 
and with hand uplifted, said with impressive force : 
*Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of this convention, I 
present for your consideration as nominee for gov- 
ernor that grand war governor of Iowa, Samuel J. 
Kirkwood' ". And when asked by what authority 
use was made of Kirkwood 's name, the man of snow 
white hair and beard again arose with uplifted 
arm and said in tones that reached every nook and 
corner of Moore's old opera house, *I nominate 



THE KIRKWOOD SCRAP-BOOKS 421 



Samuel J. Kirkwood by the authority of the great 
Republican party of Iowa!' '' In the wild enthusi- 
asm that followed combinations fell apart, alliances 
disintegrated, and the nomination was allowed to 
stand. 

On to Washington the scrap-books take us with 
the Old War Governor as a United States Senator, 
when there were no momentous National issues at 
stake". The clippings of this period picture the 
Senator from Iowa as a man who generally wore a 
**suit of clothes that could be bought new for $20 
and would not fetch at a second hand store more 
than one-fourth that sum'', but whose off-hand" 
speech on the army appropriation bill was **a gem 
of legal and political oratory", giving to its author 
national prominence". 

Another clipping of the same period pictures the 
man rather than his clothes : Perhaps the Governor 
gained something from his appearance, his manner, 
the mold in which he was cast. There is a benignity 
about a strong, rugged, sincere face which carries 
as forceful an impression as words. It was that 
quality which lent effectiveness to Webster's words; 
it is that colossal truthfulness which glorifies the 
homely features of Lincoln. Gov. Kirkwood was 
cast in a large mold. Early toil had developed his 
muscles, expanded his chest, bronzed and wind- 
beaten his cheek, brightened his eye, and at the same 
time had plowed furrows in his brow and hewed out 
the rough lines of his face. Thus when he spoke to 



422 



THE PALIMPSEST 



men — in that slow, deliberate, earnest way of his — 
what was said took on a certain penetration due as 
much to the man who said it as to the truth his 
words carried with them.*' 

With one-half of their contents relating to Kirk- 
wood's position in the Cabinet the scrap-books tell 
the story of Iowa's Genius in Homespun" as Sec- 
retary of the Interior during President Garfield's 
administration. Without dates or headlines and 
with some confusion as to sequence, the clippings of 
the time give every phase of his appointment — 
praise and criticism, political gossip, newspaper 
' ' fire works ' ', and * ' Vox Populi ' '. There are many 
verbal pictures from original negatives (without the 
flattering manipulation of the retoucher's pencil) of 
the ^^stalwartizing" of President Arthur's adminis- 
tration, of Iowa's style of Republicanism" and un- 
bounded faith in * ^ old-fashioned honesty", and of 
the practical common-sense" of that grand repre- 
sentative of the great State of Iowa — the Old War 
Governor". 

Here is an early pen portrait by a staff corre- 
spondent of the New York Tribune entitled *^The 
Secretary and his Office": Secretary Kirkwood 
carries his sixty-eight years lightly, and can do more 
hard, close work in a day than most men of forty. 
He has a strong, shrewd, kindly face with high 
cheekbones, deep wrinkles and heavy eyebrows. A 
remnant of whisker is allowed to escape the barber 
high up on each cheek. The gray does not yet domi- 



THE KIRKWOOD SCRAP-BOOKS 423 



nate over the brown in Ms hair. His clothes look as 
if a village tailor had constructed them under strict 
orders to pay no attention to fashion-plates and to 
make them ample, strong and comfortable. The big 
slouch hat which he wears on the street must be a 
veteran of niany contests with wind and rain on the 
Iowa prairies. Its owner never minds the shape it 
gets into when he swings it upon his head, takes his 
stout stick and strides out of his ofiSce. You would 
say, seeing him go by: ^What a fine specimen of a 
substantial, intelligent "Western farmer'. This 
farmer-looking man carries a vigorous, practical 
brain under his felt hat, and a warm heart under 
his loose sack coat. He has played a great part in 
the building up of the magnificent young State of 
Iowa, was her Governor in the stormy war time, has 
represented her many years on the floor of the 
United States Senate, and is now at the head of the 
most exacting and laborious of all the Government 
Departments. I predict that he will succeed in his 
new position as he has in the many others he has 
held." 

In the midst of several hundred clippings the 
reader comes suddenly upon two Special Wash- 
ington Telegrams" which state, among other things, 
that Secretary Kirkwood can not fulfill the duties 
of his office", that ^'he does not understand how to 
leave all the details of the work of his Department 
to subordinates", that **he insists upon reading and 



424 



THE PALIMPSEST 



answering all the letters sent to him", and that, 
being *'one of the most honest men in the world", 
he seemed to think *'the interior department would 
immediately get away with his Iowa reputation for 
honesty if he did not attend to every detail," 

Commenting upon these reports the Chicago Inter 
Ocean declares that * * The whole thing is a tissue of 
malicious fiction from beginning to end"; while 
Iowa papers saw in the concert of these "Washington 
wires **a conspiracy in some quarter to break the 
brave old man down and drive him out of the cab- 
inet". In the flood of these newspaper comments 
the Chicago Journal observes that **it is now well 
understood at Washington .... that before 
the 4th of March next Secretaries Kirlnvood and 
Hunt will yield their places to approved * Stalwarts ' 
who are already agreed upon by Grant, Conkling, 
Cameron, Logan and Co., who are the real bosses of 
this administration, Arthur merely doing their bid- 
ding. It is understood .... that republican 
Iowa is to be punished for her refusal to go for a 
third term for Grant in the Chicago convention, by 
being left out in the cold. Iowa can stand it if the 
bosses can. " * ' It is a new table ' \ comments the Des 
Moines Register philosophically, **and the men who 
sit up to it must be able not only to eat the new kind 
of meat but say that they like it". 

The tumult of special dispatches dies, and staff 
correspondents seek new fields. The Washington 
Post notes the retirement of Secretary Kirkwood in 



THE KIRKWOOD SCRAP-BOOKS 425 



these words : **It is a source of satisfaction . . . . 
to himself and his friends that he remained long 
enough in the Cabinet to verify the hopes that were 
entertained of his administration, and to disarm the 
criticisms with which certain of his views were at 
the outset assailed. He has proved himself an able, 
sagacious Secretary, above all suspicion of corrup- 
tion or favoritism, and, retiring as he does by virtue 
of an assumed political exigency, bears with him the 
admiration and esteem of his fellow-citizens of all 
parties/' 

And the Dubuque Times, voicing the affection of 
the State of Iowa, declares: Father Kirkwood is 
coming home. That means to Iowa, because all Iowa 
is his home, and all Iowa loves him as it has honored 
him.'' 

Through her labor of love the quiet little lady 
with silvery hair" has made a contribution to the 
source materials of Iowa history that is of real 
value; and besides, these eight hundred clippings 
contain much *4ocal color" for the artist who would 
use Iowa materials as a basis for literary endeavor. 
They give us the newspaper English and the every- 
day speech of the time. They give us sketches that 
grow in worth as the pioneer becomes more and more 
of a legendary figure ; sketches of the old campaign 
torch-light procession that marched round and 
round the park" and of the three hour rally" 
through which the entire audience remained till 



426 



THE PALIMPSEST 



the close"; and sketches, too, of the Civil War vet- 
eran campfires and regiment reunions, where old 
soldiers sang patriotic songs and the bngler sounded 
again the **mess call" and *^taps". 

Mrs. Kirkwood's clippings tell us something of 
the independence of spirit of the Iowa people of 
fifty years ago; something of their confidence in 
their ability to do their own thinking; something of 
their contempt for snobbery and their distrust of 
the political boss ; something of their liking for hon- 
est convictions and their scorn of succotash poli- 
cies"; something of their sense of the value of 
money, and their fear of ostentation and extrava- 
gance; something of their community pride and 
Commonwealth allegiance; something of their deep 
affection and their attachment to precious memo- 
ries; something of their admiration of practical 
common sense and the square deal, and of their fine 
regard for old fashioned goodness shyly covered by 
brusque speech and manner; something of their 
homely ways and ideals ; and something of their own 
faith in the worth of the young Commonwealth. 

Here in the editorialized news and news laden edi- 
torials of the small town weekly", where dates are 
often wrong and where many of the **facts" stated 
are not true, there are reflected with unquestionable 
accuracy the popular temper and the sentiment of 
*'the times of Kirkwood" — temper and sentiment in 
which one recognizes the **family disposition" of 
the Iowa of to-day. 



THE KIRKWOOD SCRAP-BOOKS 427 



Such is the story of Mrs. Kirkwood's scrap-books 
— a collection of headless, dateless clippings. 
It is the story of the **Hero in Homespun" with 
a roughly sketched background of the young Com- 
monwealth of Iowa. Not only did the quiet little 
lady with silvery hair" compile a unique record of 
the life and times of Samuel J. Kirkwood, but her 
clippings suggest a wealth of literary possibilities 
in the materials of Iowa history and give added 
meaning to the words of Frank Luther Mott: ^'It 
requires no very strong faith, and no very robust 
courage as a prophet, to predict that the day of the 
Iowa pioneer in literature is only dawning since the 
Middle West possesses the natural, historical and 
cultural elements of background which are essential 
for literature." 

Bertha M. H. Shambatjgh 



Comment by the Editor 



IOWA STATESMEN 

Men from Massachusetts are now preeminent in 
the national government. Calvin Coolidge is Presi- 
dent, John W. Weeks is Secretary of "War, Oliver 
W. Holmes and Louis D. Brandeis are Associate 
Justices of the Supreme Court, Frederick H. Gillett 
is Speaker of the House of Eepresentatives, and 
Henry Cabot Lodge is the majority party floor 
leader in the Senate. Such a condition is not acci- 
dental: it is the result of personal ability, experi- 
ence, and the recognition of merit. 

The prominence of particular States in national 
politics was the fear of the Fathers and the realiza- 
tion of their children. It was at once the danger of 
the Union and the vindication of democracy. The 
discovery and acceptance of trustworthy leadership 
is a measure of the capacity of a people for self- 
government. 

No lowan has ever been President of the United 
States — though William B. Allison narrowly 
missed nomination in 1888 when election would have 
been practically certain; in 1892 James B. Weaver 
polled the largest number of votes ever won by a 
third party candidate except Lincoln and Roosevelt ; 
and Jonathan P. Dolliver might have been Vice 



428 



COMMENT BY THE EDITOR 429 



President in 1901. Nevertheless Iowa has contrib- 
uted much to the statesmanship of the nation. It is 
only necessary to mention the astute Augustus C. 
Dodge, the brilliant James W. Grimes, the honest 
man-of-the-people Samuel J. Kirkwood, the judi- 
cious Samuel F. Miller, the cautious William B. 
Allison, and the eloquent Jonathan P. DoUiver in 
order to indicate the continual prominence of Iowa 
men in Washington. 

And there have been occasions, as in 1902, when 
Iowa, like Massachusetts, seemed conspicuous for 
its political talent. During the first year of Roose- 
velt's administration Allison and DoUiver occupied 
positions of leadership in the Senate, Leslie M. 
Shaw was Secretary of the Treasury, James Wilson 
was Secretary of Agriculture, David B. Henderson 
was Speaker of the House of Representatives, and 
William P. Hepburn, as chairman of the House 
Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, 
was formulating the most epochal legislation of the 
first decade in the twentieth century. 

Democracy must have leadership. Fortunate is 
the Commonwealth like Massachusetts, Virginia, or 
Iowa that honors its own prophets. 

J. E. B. 



INDEX 



[Note — The names of contributors of articles in The Palimpsest are 
printed in smaxl capitals. The titles of articles and of all other publications 
are printed in italics.] 



Abbott Station, mention of, 274 
Ackley, doctor of, 268; trip of Mag 

Johnson to, 272 
Agricultural experiment station, 
James Wilson director of, 67; val- 
ue of, 73 

Agriculture, study of, 67, 73, 380, 
381 

Agriculture, Committee on, James 
Wilson chairman of, 94 

Agriculture, Iowa State College of, 
James Wilson professor at, 67; 
leave of absence from, 72 

Agriculture, United States Depart- 
ment of, quotation from report of, 
72, 73; work of, 73, 74, 75, 76, 
77 

Agriculture, United States Secretary 
of, appointment of, 67, 72 ; advice 
of, 69; term of, 77 

Alex Mitchell (steamer), accident to, 
371 

Alexandria (schooner), capture of, 36 
Algonquin Indians, meeting of, by 

Nicollet, 209 
Alliance (schooner), capture of, 36 
Allison, William B., vote of, for re- 
moval of national capital, 154; in- 
fluence of, 428, 429 
Allouez, Claude, mission of, 213 
Almirante Oquendo (battleship), fate 

of, 105, 106, 107 
Alvarado (battleship), guarding of, 
107, 108 

Amusements, description of, iu early 

Iowa, 14, 25, 26 
Anamosa, Rainsbargers at, 279 
Anderson, A. J., play directed by, 16 
Anderson, George, shipyard owned 

by, 377 
Animals, distribution of, 76 
^nticosti Island, mention of, 241; 

gift of, to Joliet, 248 
Apple Orchard, lesson's, by Ben 

Hue Wilson, 121-131 
Arcadia, grasshoppers at, 200 
Arkansas Indians, meeting of, with 

Marquette, 235 
Art, materials for, furnished by Iowa 

pioneers, 253 



Arthur, Chester A., signing of bills 

by, 86; reference to, 422, 424 
Assiniboine River, location of, 382 
Associated Press, demands of Kelly's 

army received by, 338 
Atchison, George W., steamer com- 
manded by, 367 
Atherton, Gertrude, reference to, 281 
Athletics, beginnings of, at State Uni- 
versity, 137 
Atlantic Ocean, capture of transports 

on, 36; crossing of, 104, 381 
Attorney General of Iowa, conference 

with, 329 
Atwood, Sylvester F., information 
sought by, 42 ; departure of, from 
boat, 43 ; capture of, 46 
Auditor of State, speech by, 103 
Avoca, Kelly's army at, 338 
Aylesworth, B. O., statistics compiled 
by, 341 

Ayrshire (Scotland), birth of James 
Wilson in, 66 

Bailey, W. D., record of, in field meet, 
148 

Baptist Church (Los Angeles), R. J. 

Burdette pastor of, 192 
Barber, John, service of, as pilot, 372 
Barges, freight on, 372, 373 
Barrette, W. J., record of, in field 

meet, 147 
Barrows, Willard, guide book by, 295 
Barry, Thomas, experiences of, in 
winter of 1881, 113-120; experi- 
ences of, with grasshoppers, 193- 
202 

Baseball, throwing of, 143, 144, 147 
Bass Islands, trip of Island Queen 

to, 44; passing of, 48 
Beall, John Yates, rank of, 34; fam- 
ily of, 34; wounding of, 34, 38; 
refuge of, in Chew mansion, 34, 
35; character of, 35, 36; exploits 
of, 36-52; bribe offered by, 50; 
trial of, 50, 51, 52; appeal of, to 
Confederate government, 52 ; re- 
prieve granted to, 52 ; execution 
of, 52 

Beardsley, Charles, speech by, on 



431 



432 



THE PALIMPSEST 



capital removal, 162, 163, 164; 

opinions of, 179 
Beauregard, Pierre G. T., camps of, 

8; retreat of, 12 
Bedford, early settlers near, 25 ; en- 
tertainments in opera house at, 26 
Bee trees, use of, 394, 395 
Beecher, Henry Ward, lecture by, 

177, 178 ; mention of, 190 
Bellevue, voyageurs at, 226; Scotch 

settlement opposite, 394 
Beltrami, J. C, report of, 365 
Bemis family, home of, 34 
Bennett, Joseph, interest of, in 

bridge, 308, 313; bridge sold to, 

320 

Bennett, Risden, report by, 81; ob- 
jection of, to suspension of rules, 
85; vote demanded by, 87, 88 

Benton County, election returns from, 
83 

Bible, study of, 35, 68; quoting of, 
69 

Bilderback, Mr., stories of, 179-183 
Biography, meaning of, 99, 100 
Birds, study of food habits of, 76 
Black Hawk, testimony of, against 
T. F, Riddick, 130; reference to, 
286; exploits of, 352, 353; cap- 
ture of, 353, 354; quotation from, 
353, 354 

Black Hawk Purchase, report of sur- 
veyors of, 288; settlement of, 367; 
agent in, 389 

Black Hawk War, 352-354 

Blackrock College (Dublin), athletes 
from, 138 

Bleness, William E., report of, con- 
cerning Kelly's army, 337 

Blizzards, description of, 256-260 

Bloomington (Muscatine), amuse- 
ments in, 14 

Bluf¥ Park (Montrose), celebration 
at, 227 

Boardman, 0., record of, in field 
meet, 148 

"Boh" Burdette — Humorist, by 
Sherman J. McNally, 173-192 

Boilvin, Nicolas, work of, as Indian 
agent, 134, 135 

Bois-Brflil6s, command of, 386; attack 
by, 386, 387 

BoTison, Robert, service of, in athletic 
meeting, 138, 146; record of, in 
fipkl meet, 143, 144, 147 

Boxing, contest in, 144, 149 

Bradley. J. H., James Wilson repre- 
sented by, 79, 80 

Bradv, James T., service of, as coun- 
sel, 51 

Brady Street (Davenport), mention 
of. 56 



Brainard, J. M., remarks by, 200 
Brandeis, Louis D., office of, 428 
Breadstuffs, demand for, 53 ; price 

of, 57, 61 
Brebeuf, Father, service of, 207 
Bridging the Cedar, by Bruoe E. 

Mahan, 307-320 
"Brierfield", plantation, 357 
Briggs, John E., comment by, 30, 
31, 63, 64, 99, 100, 132-136, 170- 
172, 203, 204, 249-252, 281-284, 
321-324, 358-360, 398-400, 428, 
429 

Briggs, John Ely, Legislative Epi- 
sodes, 90-98 

Briggs, John Ely, Louis Joliet, 
240-248 

Brimner, Joseph, coming of, to Iowa, 
389, 390 

Brooklyn (battleship), station of, 
104, 105; signal by, 105 

Brooklyn Bridge (New York), men- 
tion of, 307 

Brooklyn Eagle, Burdette's articles 
in, 191 

Brown, Timothy O., B. T. Frederick 

represented by, 79 
Browne, Carl, Coxey converted by, 

326 

Browne, Gibson, attitude of, on rail- 
roads, 93 

Brownlie, Mr., wheat raised by, 56 

Bryce, James, quotation from, 358 

Buchanan, James, cabinet of, 37, 38 

Buffalo (New York), attempted 
wreck of train near, 51 

Bunker, John, work of, 376, 377; 
shipyard owned by, 377 

Burdette, Robert J., characterization 
of, 173-192; remarks by, 174, 191, 
192; career of, 174-192; letters of, 
176-178, 191; experiences of, in 
Cuba, 178; newspaper work of, 
178, 179, 180; lectures by, 190, 
191; pastorate of, 191, 192 

Burke, Mr., membership of, in the- 
atrical company, 18, 22 

Burley, Bennett G., part of, in plot, 
41, 42, 49 

Burlington, amusements at, 14; R. J. 
Burdette at, 189, 190, 191; voy- 
ageurs at, 226; protection associa- 
tion at, 295 

Biirlin(/ton Hawlc-Eye, Burdette's po- 
sition with, 178, 179, 180, 188- 
191; growth of, 179; report in, 
concerning bridge, 312 

Burns, Robert, poems of, 68, 379 

Burrows, J. M. D., business of, 53, 
54, 55, 56, 57, 58; agent sent out 
by, 55; remarks by, 55; visit of, 
to grain men, 58; plan of, 60; 



INDEX 



433 



profit of, 61; money carried by, 

301; trips of, 301-306 
Burrows, J. M. D., A Pioneer 

Journey, 301-306 
Burrows, J. M. D., Ventures in 

Wheat, 53-62 
Burrows and Prettyman, business of, 

53, 54, 55, 56, 57; loss to, 55, 62; 

profit of, 56, 57; financial status 

of, 58, 62 
Bushyager, Bowie, lynching of, 284 
Bushyager, Pitt, lynching of, 284 
Butter, market for, 74, 75 
Byers, S. H. M., poem by, 102 

Cairo (Illinois), Kelly's army at, 343, 
344 

Caithness (Scotland), emigrants 

from, 379, 380 
Calhoun, John C, opposition of, to 

new Territory, 287, 288 
California, newspapers of, 407 
Cameron, Duncan, entertainment by, 

385 

Cameron, J. D., work of, as political 
boss, 424 

Campbell, Ed, episode concerning, 98 
Campbell, Isaac R., explorations of, 
128; service of, as lighterman, 375 
Campbell, Sen, membership of, in 

Pleasant Hill Dramatic Club, 26 
Campbells, settlement by, 394 
Campion College, view of, 215 
Canada, newspapers from, 15 ; John 
Y. Beall's adventure in, 38; refu- 
gees from, 40; island near shore 
of, 41; arrest of Burley in, 49; 
emigrants from, 214, 296; mention 
of, 240; place of Joliet in history 
of, 247 

Cape Diamond (Canada), mention 
of, 241 

Capital on Wheels, The, by Jacob A. 
Swisher, 151-169 

Capitol, National, burning of, 151; 
opposition to appropriations for, 
168, 169; industrial armies in 
front of, 326, 327 

Carpenter, C. C, message of, con- 
cerning grasshopper victims, 196, 
197 

Carter, J. C, telegram sent to, 40, 

41; office of, 48 
Cartier, Jacques, voyage of, 206 
Carts, description of, 389, 390 
Cascade, mansion in, 33; spy in, 34- 

36, 38 

Catfish Creek, lead mined on, 204; 

mill on, 395 
Cathcart, C, record of, in field meet, 

148 



Cattle, importation of, 389 

Cedar, Bridging the, by Bruce E. 

Mahan, 307-320 
Cedar County, purchase of wheat in, 

60 

Cedar River Suspension Bridge, his- 
tory of, 307-320 

Central Labor Union (Council 
Bluffs), Kelly's army aided by, 
334, 335 

Cervera, Pascual de, fleet of, 104; 

visit of, to Iowa, 108, 109 
Chambers, Alexander, orders of, 2 ; 

drill in charge of, 10 
Champlain, Samuel de, explorations 

by, 206, 207; appointment of, as 

governor, 207; death of, 210 
Charles II (England), petition to, 

204 

"Charles II", performance of, 22 
Chase, C. P., record of, in field meet, 
146, 148 

Chautauqua Hill (Council Bluffs), 

Kelly's army at. 330, 331 
Chesapeake Bay, Beall's party on, 37 
Chew, Thomas J., sawmill of, 33 ; 

mansion of, 33, 34 
Chew, Mrs. Thomas J., aid given by, 

85 

Chicago (Illinois), theater in, 18; 
Burrows at, 58; wheat shipped to, 
59, 60; mention of, 333, 359 

Chicago and Northwestern Railway, 
construction of, in Tama County, 
91; mention of, 202; attorney for, 
328 

Chicago and Rock Island Railway, 
price of freight on, 58 ; wheat 
shipped on, 58, 59; cars furnished 
by, 60; construction of, 92; re- 
strictions on, 93 

Chicago Inter Ocean, report in, 409, 
424 

Chicago Journal, comment by, 424 
Chicago River, mention of, 236 
Chicago Tribune, editor of, 155 ; 
opinion of, as to Iowa delegation, 
156; quotation from, 336 
Chieftain (steamer), voyage of, 366 
Chippewa River, guiding of timber 

down, 347 
Chitty on Pleading, mention of, 262 
Church of England, rector of, in Red 

River Colony, 388 
Cincinnati (Ohio), National Capital 

Convention at, 169 
Citizens, indignation of, 331; de- 
mands of, 331; mass meeting of, 
332; conference of committee of, 
333 

Civil War, mention of, 66, 70, 282, 



434 



THE PALIMPSEST 



352, 358, 376; effect of, on capital 
removal, 153; records of, 397; 
Kirkwood's speech on, 406; clip- 
pings of, 410, 411, 412 
Clark, Dan Elbert, remarks by, 402 
Clark, G. H., record of, in track 

meet, 144, 147 
Clark, J., steamer commanded by, 
367 

Clay, Clement 0., support of, for or- 
ganization of new Territory, 289, 
290 

Clay, Henry, opposition of, to new 

Territory, 288, 289 
Cleveland, Grover, inauguration of, 

84, 86 

Cleveland (Ohio), march to, 39 
Cleves, Rainsbargers at, 277, 278 
Climate, weekly report of, 75 
Clinton, voyageurs at, 226 
Close, Cicero, candidacy of, for office 

of Speaker, 97 
Clyne (Scotland), enclosure in, 381 
Cobb, Mr., boxing contest of, 149 
Code of 1851, mention of, 262 
Cole, Charles H., instructions given 
to, 38; money given to, 38, 39; re- 
port of, 39; plans of, 40; arrest 
of, 41; failure of signals of, 48; 
imprisonment of, 50; discharge of, 
50 

Colon (battleship), destruction of, 
106, 107 

Columbia River, valley of, 287 

Comment by the Editor, 30, 31, 63, 
64, 99, 100, 132-136, 170-172, 
203, 204, 249-252, 281-284, 321, 
324, 358-360, 398-400, 428, 429 

Committee of the Whole, debate in, 
on removal of national capital, 168 

"Commonweal of Christ, The", deriv- 
ation of, 326; arrival of, at Wash- 
ington, 326, 327 

Concord stage, mention of, 418 

Confederacy, agents of, 37, 40, 49, 
51; appeal to, 52; President of, 
346, 352 

Confederacy, Secretary of War of, 

offer to, 37 
Confederate navy, master in, 34, 41 
Confederate prisoners, release of, 37 
Confederate Spy, A, by Bruce E, 

Mahan, 33-52 
Confederates, defeat of, 5, 12, 37, 
48, 49; attack of, 7, 46; condition 
in camps of, 8; burning of Alliance 
by, 36; plans of, concerning pris- 
oners, 39; report by, 40; vessels 
captured by, 46, 47, 48, 49; re- 
turn home of, 49; violation of 
rules by, 49; letter to agent of, 52 



Congress, election of James Wilson 
to, 66; appropriation by, for Iowa, 
102 ; debate in, on capital removal, 
167, 168, 169; discussion in, on 
new Territory, 285-290; petition 
to, 325, 326, 345; Representative 
to, 404 

Congressional Globe, debate on cap- 
ital removal printed in, 168 
Conkling, Roscoe, work of, 424 
Connecticut, James Wilson in, 66, 67 
Conqueror, The, reference to, 281 
Conscription act, enforcement of, in 
South, 8 

Constitution of Iowa, vote on amend- 
ment to, 97 

Contested Election, A, by Jacob Van 
Ek, 78-89 

Coolidge, Calvin, position of, 428 

Cooper, James Penimore, mention of, 
282 

Cooper Institute (New York), R, J. 
Burdette at, 176 

Coralville, mill at, 418 

Corinth, The Siege of, by Clint 
Pakkhurst, 1-13 

Corkery, Chas., coffee house main- 
tained by, 15 

Corn, husking of, 113 ; scarcity of, 
116, 117, 120; eating of, by grass- 
hoppers, 195 

Cornelia (steamer), accident to, 371 

Cornell College, representation of, in 
athletic association, 139 ; participa- 
tion of, in State field meet, 145, 
146, 147, 148, 149 

Coues, Elliott, report of, 135, 136 

Council Bluffs, grasshoppers at, 200; 
Kelly's army at, 328-334 

Counterfeiting, activities of Rains- 
bargers in, 270 

County crown attorney, assurance 
given by, 49 

Court martial, Beall convicted by, 
50, 51, 52; quarrel in, 355 

Courthouse, activities of ring at, 260, 
263; reference to, 299 

Cowden, A. M., record of, in field 
meet, 148 

Cox, Huston, membership of, in 
Pleasant Hill Dramatic Club, 26 

Cox, Nellie, tennis match won by, 146 

Coxey, Jacob S., march of army of, 
325-327; reputation of, 326; ar- 
rest of, 326; arrival of, at Wash- 
ington, 326, 327, 345; ridicule of, 
327; mention of, 341; opinion of 
Kelly concerning, 341, 342; fail- 
ure of. 342; advice of, 345 

Cramp, William, and Sons, visitors 
at shipyard of, 101 



INDEX 



435 



Crapo Park (Burlington), pageant at, 
227 

Creely, Theresa, marriage of, to Tes- 

son, 125, 135, 136 
Crimean War, 57, 61 
Crisis, The, reference to, 282 
Cristobal Colon (battleship), destruc- 
tion of, 105, 106 
Crops, weekly report of, 75; prices 
of, 325 

Crossen, Frank, membership of, in 
Pleasant Hill Dramatic Club, 26 

Crossle, Henry, steamer commanded 
by, 367 

Cruikshank, Alexander, visit of, to 

L. H. Tesson farm, 128 
Cruikshank, J. P., report of, 128; 

interest of, in orchard, 131 
Crum, John V., track record of, 137 
Cut Nose, Chief, home of, 128 
Cutlery, use of, as money, 20 
Cutts, M. E., opposition of, to re- 
moval of national capital, 166, 167 

Dablon, Claude, blessing invoked by, 
243, 244 

Dairy products, problem of, 74, 75 

Dan Hine (towboat), use of, 375 

Davenport, amusements at, 14; firms 
in, 53, 59; produce market at, 55, 
56, 59, 62 ; proposed flour mill in, 
57; wheat shipped from, 58; price 
of wheat in, 59; freight saved 
from, 61; voyageurs at, 226; men- 
tion of, 302 

Davis, Jefferson, agents sent by, 37, 
38; orders of, 51; mention of, 129; 
description of, 346, 347; securing 
of timber by, 347, 348; meeting of, 
with George W. Jones, 348, 349; 
achievements of, at Fort Winne- 
bago, 349, 350; regard of Indians 
for, 350; miners removed by, 350- 
352; statements of, 351, 352; 
meeting of, with Abraham Lincoln, 
353 ; Black Hawk guarded by, 353, 
354; statement of Black Hawk 
concerning, 353, 354; transfer of, 
355 ; quarrel of, with Col. Taylor, 
355, 356, 357; resignation of, 356; 
legend of, 356; marriage of, 356, 
357; plantation of, 357; conduct 
of, in Mississippi Valley, 357 

Davis, Jefferson, A Memoir, quota- 
tion from, 351, 352 

Davis, Lieutenant Jefferson, by Dor- 
othy MacBride, 346-357 

Davis, W. R., record of, in field 
meet, 147 

Davis, Mrs. Varina Howell, book of, 
351 



Delaware River, Iowa on, 101, 102, 
110 

De Meuron Regiment, attack by, 387; 
allotments made to, 387 

Democrat, election of, 78 

Denmark, butter from, 75 

Dennison, George B., purchase of 
Tesson orchard by, 130 

De Pere, Marquette at, 236, 237 

Deserters, surrender of, 8 

Des Moines, Republican State Con- 
vention at, 168; capital established 
at, 203; mention of, 328, 335; 
Kelly's army at, 338-343; unveil- 
ing of Yewell portrait at, 410; 
stage route to, 418 

Des Moines Capital, quotation from, 
337, 338 

Des Moines County, suggestion for 

removal of national capital to, 163 
Des Moines Rapids, apple orchard 

near, 121; survey of, by R. E. 

Lee, 130; location of, 361, 362; 

Pike at, 363, 364; steamers at, 

365, 366; accidents on, 371, 372; 

canal around, 378 
Des Moines Register, quotation from, 

98; clipping from, 405; comment 

by, 424 

Des Moines River, proposal to remove 
national capital to, 152, 155 ; 
French and Indians on, 204; Kel- 
ly's army sent down, 343 ; mouth 
of, 362; sawmill on, 376 

Detroit (Michigan), office in hotel at, 
40 ; passenger en route from, 40 ; 
passenger boat at, 41, 42 

Detroit River, passage of boat up, 48 

Devaney, Lawrence, journey of, to 
Scotch Grove, 392, 393 

Dialect, discussion of, 398-400 

Discontent, prevalence of, 325 

Discovery of Iowa, The, by Bruce E. 
Mahan, 215-228 

District Attorney, United States, as- 
surance given to, 49 

District of Columbia, proposals to re- 
move national capital from, 151- 
169; Kelly's army in, 345 

Dix, John A., request forwarded by, 
51; sentence approved by, 51, 52 

Doctor, frontier, 261 

Dodge, Augustus C, appointment of, 
as delegate to National Capital 
Convention, 156; picture of, 418, 
419; prominence of, 429 

Dodge, Grenville M., vote of, for re- 
moval of national capital, 154; ap- 
pointment of, to National Capital 
Convention, 156 

Dodge, Henry, democracy of, 822 



436 



THE PALIMPSEST 



DoUiver, Jonathan P., importance of, 
428, 429 

Donovan, Josephine Barry, Grass- 
hopper Times, 193-202 
Donovan, Josephine Barry, The 

Winter of Eighty-One, 113-120 
Doone Band, An Iowa, by JocelyK 

Wallace, 267-280 
Doone robbers, comparison of Hardin 

County outlaws with, 267 
Dougherty, James, membership of, in 

Pleasant Hill Dramatic Club, 26 
Douglas, Stephen A., reference to de- 
bates of, 419 
Douglas, Thomas, agents of, 381 
Drake, Mary Lord, Iowa christened 

by, 101, 102 
Drake University, address of Kelly 

to, 340; Kelly's army investigated 

by, 340, 341 
Dramatics, Pleasant Hill, by Bruce 

E. Mahan, 25-29 
Druillettes, Gabriel, Marquette studies 

with, 230, 231 
Dubuque, Julien, mines of, 122, 204; 

acquaintance of, with Tesson, 123, 

125 

Dubuque, amusements at, 14; first 
theater in, 15 ; visit of Burrows to, 
54, 303-306; market at, 54, 395; 
railroad to, 91; lead mines near, 
122, 350, 351, 372; voyageurs at, 
226; character of people at, 290, 
294 ; meeting of miners at, 292 ; 
lead ore shipped from, 372; visit 
to territory near, 389; arrival of 
Scots at, 391, 392 
Dubuque (steamer), voyage of, 366 
Dubuque Ferry, journey from, 255 
Dubuque Times, report in, 425 
Duchouquette, Marie, marriage of, to 

Tesson, 135 
Dumoulin, Amaranthe, mention of, 
136 

Dunlap, William, plays by, 16, 17 

Earlp lowans, The, by Geo. F. 

Robeson, 285-300 
East, soil in, 76; opinion concerning, 

358; radicalism in, 360 
East Cascade High School, residence 

converted into, 34 
East River (New York), Brooklyn 

Bridge over, 307 
Eclipse (steamer), rapids crossed by, 

366 

Editor, remarks by, concerning the 
Iowa, 103; description of, 262 

Editor, Comment bp the, 30, 31, 63, 
64, 99, 100, 132-136, 170-172, 
203, 204, 249-252, 281-284, 321- 



323, 358-360, 398, 400, 428, 429 

Edwards, Richard, removal of nation- 
al capital supported by, 155 

Eldora, Nettie Rainsbarger taken to, 
273; statement filed at, 274; lynch- 
ing at, 275, 278; Rainsbargers in, 
275, 276, 277, 280 

Election, Fifth Congressional District, 
returns of, 78; recounting of votes 
in, 82, 83 

Election, A Contested, by Jacob Van 
Ek, 78-89 

Elections, Committee on, report by, 
81, 82 

Eminent domain, right of railroad 

companies to, 90, 91 
Enclosures, increase of, in Scotland, 

381 

England, John Y. Beall in, 35 ; mar- 
ket in, 53; alliance formed by, 57; 
competition of, with Spain, 124; 
rivalry of, with France, 210, 211; 
development of, 254; Doone rob- 
bers in, 267; reference to, 282; 
traveller from, 290 ; emigrants 
from, 294, 296; enclosures in, 
381; shipment of animals from, 
388, 389 

"England's Iron Days", performance 
of, 16 

Englert's Ball Park, use of, by ath- 
letes, 140-144 

Enterprise (steamer), voyage of, 366 

Esson, David, journey of, to Scotch 
Grove, 391, 392 

Eulate, Antonio, surrender of, 108 

Europe, price of breadstuffs in, 61; 
immigrants from, 296, 297 

Evans, Robley D., presentation of 
sword to, 108 

Ewing, William, service of, 127, 134, 
364 

Executive Council, State, hearing 

held by, 79, 80 
Express (steamer), ascent of rapids 

by, 366 

Fairfield, Representative from, 98 
Fairport, Biological Station at, 227 
Palls of St, Anthony, Fort Snelling 

at, 347 ; steamboats at, 366 
Funeuil Hall, mention of, 414 
Fanning, Timothy, hotel of, 24 
Farmers, better conditions for, 72, 

73 ; protection of, 90 ; hardships 

of, 195, 196, 197, 198, 201, 325; 

Kelly's army aided by, 334, 344 
Farming, articles on, 67; science of, 

70 

Farmington (Mississippi), Confeder- 
ates driven from, 5 



INDEX 



437 



Farris, Cnarles H., service of, as 

pilot, 372 
Farris, Robert, service of, as pilot, 

372 

Fassett, Thomas C, play directed by, 
16 

Federal courts, decisions from, 80 

Federal officers, arrest of Enoch 
Johnson by, 270, 271 

Federal Relations, Committee on, res- 
olution referred to, 164 

Federation of Labor (Nebraska), Kel- 
ly's army aided by, 834, 335 

Fences, problem of, 95, 96 

Fiction, estimate of, 282, 283 

Field Day, The First Iowa, by Bruce 
E. Mahan, 137-150 

Field meets, introduction of, at the 
State University, 137, 138 

Fifth Congressional District, Iowa, 
election contest in, 78-89 

Fifty yard dash, records in, 143, 144, 
146, 147 

Fifty-first Iowa Infantry, return of, 
from Philippine Islands, 109 

Fighting Point, crew put ashore at, 
49 

Filibustering, use of, in House, 83, 
84 

Filly Rock (Mississippi River), dan- 
ger of, 366 

Findley, T. P., selection of, as dele- 
gate to athletic meeting, 138; elec- 
tion of, on executive committee, 
139; records of, in track meet, 
144, 146, 147, 148, 149; service 
of, as superintendent, 146 

First Iowa Cavalry, colonel of, 51 

First Iowa Field Day, The, by BruCB 
E. Mahan, 137-150 

Fisher, Maturin L., appointment of, 
as delegate to National Capital Con- 
vention, 156 

Flaherty, Thomas F., steamer com- 
manded by, 367 

Fleet, American, part of, in Battle of 
Santiago, 104-109 ; maneuvers of, 
in Pacific, 111 

Fleet, Spanish, story of, in Battle of 
Santiago, 103-109 

Flint, T. J. S., business of, 58 

Flint and Wheeler, agreement made 
by, 60 

Flour, price of, 54, 56, 57, 61; spoil- 
ing of, 55 ; loss on, 55 
Football kick, 143, 147 
Forrest, N. B., command of, 38 
Fort Churchill (Canada), Scotch at, 

383; winter at, 383, 384 
Fort Columbus (New York), execu- 
tion at, 52 



Fort Crawford (Wisconsin), mention 
of, 129; ruins of, 215, 216; fron- 
tier tales of, 346; arrival of Jef- 
ferson Davis at, 346, 347, 350, 
354; description of, 347; depart- 
ure of Jefferson Davis from, 355, 
356; legend of, 356 

Fort Des Moines (No. 1), establish- 
ment of, 129; desertion of, 130 

Fort Dodge, convention at, 196 ; coun- 
try near, 253 

Fort Douglas (Canada), arrival of 
Scotch at, 384 

Fort Edward (Illinois), departure of 
vessel from, 365 ; rapids near, 365 

Fort Gibr alter (Canada), entertain- 
ment at, 385 

Fort Gibson (Arkansas), Jefferson 
Davis at, 355, 356, 357 

Fort Lafayette (New York), court 
martial at, 50 

Fort McHenry (Maryland), prisoners 
at, 37 

Fort Madison, voyageurs at, 226 
Fort Norfolk (Virginia), prisoners at, 
37 

Fort Snelling (Minnesota), frontier 
guarded by, 347; Taylor at, 349; 
Virginia at, 365, 366 

Fort William (Canada), capture of, 
387 

Fort Winnebago (Wisconsin), Jeffer- 
son Davis at, 349, 350; location 
of, 349, 350; life at, 350 

Fortieth Congress, resolution in, for 
removal of national capital, 154 

Forty-seventh Illinois Infantry, Bur- 
dette's service in, 175 

Forty-eighth Congress, contest for seat 
in, 80-89 ; final session of, 83 ; vis- 
itors in galleries of, 84 

Four hundred and forty yard race, 
records in, 143 

Fourth of July, early celebrations of, 
283 

Fox Indians, permit granted by, 122 

Fox River (Wisconsin), ascent of, 
213; portage at, 349 

France, alliance with, 57; fur traders 
of, 206; confusion in colonies of, 
207; hope of, to conquer America, 
210, 211, 243, 244; Talon recalled 
to, 244; emigrants from, 294, 296 

Franciscan missionaries, mention of, 
207 

Frederick, Benjamin T., election con- 
test of, 78-89; presence of, at hear- 
ing, 79; agents of, 82; handling of 
ballots by, 82, 83; vote of, for 
Grant bill, 89 

Freight, kinds of, on Mississippi, 372; 



438 



THE PALIMPSEST 



cost of shipment of, 373; lighter- 
ing of, 373, 374 
French, hostility of Indians to, 206 
French Indian half-breeds, command 
of, 386 

French River, voyages on, 206, 207, 
245 

Front Street (Davenport), mention 
of, 56 

Frontenac, Governor, letter written 
by, 244, 245; Joliet's report to, 
246, 247 
Frontier, relation of, to sport, 171 
Fruits, introduction of, 76 
Fuel, slew grass used for, 117 
Fulton (steamer), rapids crossed by, 
366 

Furor (destroyer), destruction of, 
105, 106, 107 

Gaelic language, use of, 396 

Gage, Mrs. Frances D., visit of, to 

Iowa, 297-299 
Galena (Illinois), experiences of Jef- 
ferson's company at, 19, 20 ; buy- 
ing of grain at, 54; lead mines at, 
350, 351 

Gallahee, Ruth A., The Iowa, 101- 
112 

Garfield, James A., Kirkwood in cab- 
inet of, 404, 406, 422, 423 

Garfield, Mrs. James A., reception by, 
415 

Garland, Hamlin, bitterness in tales 
of, 263 

General Assembly, election of James 
Wilson to, 66, 71; purchase of sil- 
ver service by, 103 ; resolution in, 
for removal of national capital, 
152, 164-167; report to, on Na- 
tional Capital Convention, 161, 
162 ; aid furnished to grasshopper 
victims by, 196 

General Bern (steamer), material for 
bridge brought on, 308, 309 

Georgia, newspapers of, 407 

Georgian Bay, reference to, 206,207; 
Joliet's voyage on, 245 

Germany, emigrants from, 294 

Germon, Mr., membership of, in the- 
atrical company, 18; song by, 22 

Germon, Mrs., membership of, in the- 
atrical company, 18 

Giard, Basil, land grant to, 122 ; ac- 
quaintance of, with Tesson, 123, 
125 

Gilford, mention of, 272; road to, 276 
Gillett, F. H., position of, 428 
"Glory of Columbia Her Yeomanry", 

performance of, 16, 17, 18 
Gloucester (battleship), service of, in 



Battle of Santiago, 107; commander 
of, 108, 109 
Goodrich, C. F., Iowa commanded by, 
109 

Gore, Joshua, service of, as pilot, 
372 

Gorham, C, W., election of, as officer 
of athletic association, 139, 145 

Gorrell, Arthur, saber swinging by, 
149 

"Gougers", work of, 370 
Governor of Iowa, daughter of, 101; 
attitude of, toward Kelly's army, 
326, 329, 331, 333, 343; admira- 
tion for, 410-414 
Governor's Island, execiltion on, 52 
Graham, J. R., grain handled by, 59 
Graham and Kepner, agreement with, 
60 

Grain, introduction of, 76 ; eating 

of, by grasshoppers, 195 
Grand Hotel (Council Bluffs), crowd 

at, 333 

Grant, Cuthbert, orders signed by, 
386; attack made by, 386, 387 

Grant, U. S., comment by, on Con- 
federate conscription, 8 ; measure 
for relief of, 84-86; visit of, in 
New York, 177; third term for, 
424 

Grasses, introduction of, 76 

Grasshopper Times, by Josephine 
Barry Donovan, 193-202 

Grasshoppers, destruction by, 193- 
202, 388, 389; growth of, 197, 
198 ; poem about, 199 ; jokes con- 
cerning, 200, 201 

Great Lakes, Joliet's knowledge of, 
243 ; Saint-Lusson expedition on, 
243, 244; reference to, 247; wa- 
terway t0j_ 349 

Green Bay (Wisconsin), mention of, 
208, 221; expedition in, 212; visit 
of Joliet to, 243 

Greene County (Pennsylvania), R. J. 
Burdette's birthplace in, 174 

"Gretna Green", performance of, 18 

Grimes, James W., vote of, 86 ; prom- 
inence of, 429 

Grinnell, first State field meet at, 
139, 144-150 

Grinnell College, lack of proper train- 
ing in, 69 ; professor of languages 
at, 93 ; representation of, in ath- 
letic association, 139; participa- 
tion of, in State field meet, 146, 
147, 148 

Grosseilliers, explorations of, 210 

Gue, Benjamin F., appointment of, as 
delegate to National Capital Con- 
vention, 169 



INDEX 



439 



Gnnboats, attack upon, 36 
Guttenberg, voyageurs at, 217, 226 

Half-breed Tract, survey of, 367 

Half-breeds, work of, 369 

Half mile run, records in, 146, 148 

Halleck, Henry W., attack of, upon 
Corinth, 2 

Hamilton, A. H., appointment of, as 
delegate to National Capital Con- 
vention, 156 

Hammer throw, records in, 143, 144, 
148 

Hannibal (Missouri), mention of, 335 

Hardin County, outlaws in, 267, 269; 
description of, 267, 280; vigilance 
society in, 274; Rainsbarger case 
in, 274, 278, 279, 280; historic 
stable in, 280 

Harlan, James, capital removal advo- 
cated by, 168 

Harris, Scribe, boat commanded by, 
301 

Hastings, F, A., records of, in track 

meet, 144 
Hawkey e (lighter-boat), building of, 

376, 377 

Hawkeye, The, message in, 253 ; in- 
cidents in, 260, 261; quotations 
from, 260, 261, 284; characters in, 
261; characteristics of, 262, 263; 
tribute to frontier mothers in, 263, 
264; style of, 264, 283; back- 
ground of, 265, 284 

Hawley, Theodore, appointment of, 
as delegate to National Capital Con- 
vention, 156 

Hayden, John, attitude of, on rail- 
roads, 93 

Hebrides Islands, departure from, 
382, 383 

Henderson, D. B., position of, 429 
Hennepin, Louis, voyage of, on Mis- 
sissippi, 204 
Hennessy, John, nephews of, 138 
Henry Burden (steamer), Beall on, 
50 

Hepburn, W. P., position of, 429 

"Herd law", 90, 94-97 

Hiatt, May, membership of, in Pleas- 
ant Hill Dramatic Club, 26 

High jump, training for, 139 

Highlanders, characterization of, 379, 
397; hardships of, in Scotland, 
379, 380, 381, 382; coming of, to 
America, 386 

Hill, B. H., report of stranger to, 
39, 40; plan of, 40, 41 

Hine, Adam, service of, as lighter- 
man, 375, 378 

Hine, Daniel, work of, 375, 378 



flistorians, work of, 30, 31, 63; 

judgment of, 281 
Historical fiction, discussion of, 281, 

282 

Historical memoirs, discussion of, 
132, 133 

Historv. character of, 30, 31; mate- 
rials of, 63, 64 
Hitch and kick, records in, 148 
Hobson, Richmond P., plan of, to 

block harbor, 104, 105 
Hogs, shipment of, 55 
Holland, emigrants from, 296 
Holmes, O. W., position of, 428 
Homer Township (Benton County), 

election returns from, 83 
"Honeymoon", performance of, 22 
Hop, step, and jump, winner of, 143 
Hopkinton, settlement of, 394; col- 
lege at, 397 
Horses, importation of, 389 
Horseshoe Island, description of, 215 
Hospers, mention of, 117; trip to, 
193, 194 

House of Representatives (Iowa), 
Speaker of, 66, 97, 98; railroad 
bill in, 92 

House of Representatives (United 
States), Frederick-Wilson contest 
in, 78-89; filibustering in, 83, 84, 
85 ; action of, on Grant bill, 84, 
85, 89; confusion in, 86, 87, 88; 
debate in, on removal of the na- 
tional capital, 167, 168, 169 

"How to Rule a Wife", performance 
of, 22 

Howell, James B., opposition of, to 
appropriations for capitol grounds, 
168, 169 

Hoxie, Vinjiie Ream, account of, 417 
Hubbard, Asahel W., vote of, for re- 
moval of national capital, 154; ap- 
pointment of, as delegate to Nation- 
al Capital Convention, 156 
Hubbard, N. M., railroad protection 
sought by, 328, 329; declaration 
of, 331, 332 
Hudson's Bay Company, control of 
interests by, 382; factory of, 383; 
union of, with North-West Com- 
pany, 388; name given to, 388; 
dissatisfaction of Scots with, 388, 
389; purchase of supplies by, 389 
Huff, H. L., Fin Rainsbarger de- 
fended bv, 269; prosecution led by, 
276, 277 
Hummer, Michael, office of, 396 
"Hummer's Bell", reference to, 396 
Hundred Associates, commerce con- 
trolled by, 207, 240 
Hungary, emigrants from, 296 



440 



THE PALIMPSEST 



Hunt, William D., report about, 424 
Hurdle race, records in, 143, 146, 
148 

Huron Indians, location of, 207; 
killing of, by Iroquois, 210; visit 
of Marquette to, 232; flight of, to 
Mackinac Island, 232 

Ice cream, serving of, at field meet, 
145, 149 

Illinois, wheat from, 58; growth of 
population in, 153; Burdette fam- 
ily in, 174, 175; plans of Joliet to 
live in, 247; attempt to exclude 
Kelly's army from, 333 ; story of, 
346; Black Hawk in, 352; cam- 
paign in, 353; Abraham Lincoln 
in, 353, 419; newspapers of, 407 

Illinois Indians, visit to, by Nicollet, 
209; visit of Joliet and Marquette 
to, 220-226, 233, 234, 236 

Illinois River, Marquette's trip on, 
236 

Illinois State Normal School, presi- 
dent of, 155 

Indiana, mention of, 261; newspapers 
of, 407 ; reference to Kirkwood's 
speech in, 410, 411 

Indiana (battleship), station of, 105; 
orders to, 107, 108 

Indiana (steamer), rapids crossed by, 
366 

Indians, mention of, 121; instruction 
of, by Tesson, 124; village of, on 
Tesson land, 128, 129; agents of, 
134; land ceded by, 136; fur trade 
with, 206; work of Jesuits among, 
230; Frenchman in village of, 243; 
friendship of, with Joliet, 243 ; ref- 
erence to, 283, 361; removal of, 
from Iowa, 292 ; refusal of whisky 
to, 295 ; hostility of, 347, 348, 350, 
390 ; presence of, in northern Wis- 
consin, 349, 350; regard of, for 
Jefferson Davis, 350 ; dispute of 
miners with, 350-352; treaties 
with, 352, 387 

"Industrial armies", organization of, 
327; description of, 327 

Infanta Maria Teresa (battleship), 
destruction of, 105, 106, 107; Cer- 
vera rescued from, 109 

Ingersoll, Mrs., membership of, in 
theatrical company, 18 

Inkpaduta, reference to, 282, 283 

Inslee, William, purchase of wheat 
from, 56 

Insurance, advance of, 54 

"Tntelligonce service", maintenance 
of, by Kelly's army, 336, 337 

Inter-Collegiate Athletic Association, 



organization of, 138, 139; first 
field day of, 145 

Interesting Historical Paper, refer- 
ence to, 406 

Interior, Secretary of, office of, 37, 
38; clippings about Kirkwood as, 
404 

Iowa, need of scientific study of 
problems in, 69, 71; James Wil- 
son's trips to, 72; visitors from, to 
Philadelphia, 101; delegation from, 
109; description of, 113-120, 256- 
260, 297-299, 322, 323, 346; land 
grants in, 121, 122, 123, 128; 
march of dragoons across, 129; 
first field meet in, 137-150; pro- 
posal to move national capital to, 
152, 154, 155, 161; growth of 
population in, 153 ; vote of Con- 
gressmen from, on capital removal, 
168 ; grasshopper ravages in, 193- 
202; organization of, 203; geolog- 
ical history of, 203 ; age of, 203, 
204; first white men in, 204, 220- 
226; emigration to, 214, 292, 293, 
400; rediscovery of, 249-251; spir- 
it of, 251, 252; skill of Herbert 
Quick in presenting history of, 
253, 254, 255 ; contributions of pi- 
oneers of, to literature and art, 
253, 265, 266; session laws of, 
262; counties in, 266; townships 
in, 266; character of early settlers 
in, 285-300, 322, 323; living con- 
ditions in, 290-300; removal of In- 
dians from, 292 ; census of, in 
1850, 296; first Norwegian settle- 
ment in, 297; Kelly's army in, 327, 
360; miners in, 351, 352; opening 
of, for settlement, 352 ; immigra- 
tion issue in, 359 ; new parties in, 
360; steamboat traffic in, 361,365, 
366, 367; Scotch settlement in, 
379-397; visit to, 389; dialect of, 
398-400; clippings from newspa- 
pers in, 402, 403, 404, 416, 417; 
enlistment from, in Civil War, 410, 
411; admiration in, for Kirkwood, 
412, 413, 414; return of Kirk- 
wood to, 425 ; early politics in, 
425, 426; history of, 425-427; pio- 
neer literature in, 427; statesmen 
of, 428, 429 

Iowa (Territory), establishment of, 
203, 285; guide book on, 295 

Iowa (battleship), history of, 101- 
112; poem in honor of, 102; first 
captain of, 104 ; part of, in Battle 
of Santiago, 105-109; church ser- 
vices on board of, 109 ; expenses 
of, 109; part time service of, 110; 



INDEX 



441 



use of, in World War, 110; use of, 
as target, 110-112 
Iowa, The, by Ruth A. Gallaher, 
101-112 

Iowa, The Discovery of, by Bruce E. 
Mahan, 215-228 

Iowa Biographical Series, Kirkwood's 
biography in, 401, 402 

Iowa Central Air Line (Chicago and 
Northwestern Railroad), construc- 
tion of, in Tama County, 91 

Iowa City, first field meet at, 140- 
144; removal of State capital from, 
152; Kirkwood's home in, 409; 
exhibition of portrait in, 410 ; 
Kirkwood School in, 417; stage 
route to, 418 

Iowa College (see Grinnell College) 

Iowa Collegiate Athletic Association, 
annual track meets held by, 137 

Iowa Democratic Enquirer, notices in, 
concerning suspension bridge, 309- 
311, 314-819 

Iowa District, book on, 293 

Iowa Doone Band, An, by Jocelyn 
Wallace, 267-280, 284 

Iowa Falls, railroad to, 91 

Iowa News, advertisement in, 15 ; re- 
port of plays in, 16, 17 

Iowa River, reference to, 267, 275, 
308 

Iowa State College, record of, in 
State field meet, 147 

Iowa State Labor Commissioner, re- 
port of, concerning Kelly's army, 
337 

Iowa State Register, comment by, on 
capital removal, 154, 155 ; dispatch 
from, 329; stories in, 341 

Iowa Thespian Association, organiza- 
tion of, 14; plays by, 16; success 
of, 18, 23; disbanding of, 23 

Iowa Thespians, The, by Bruce E. 
Mahan, 14-24 

Iowa Wesleyan College, representa- 
tion of, in athletic association, 139; 
participation of, in field meet, 147, 
148 

lowans. The Early, by Geo. F. Robe- 
son, 285-300 
Ireland, emigrants from, 294, 296 
Irish, John P., opposition of, to re- 
moval of national capital, 164, 165, 
166, 167 
Irish, work of, as ratters, 376 
Iroquois Indians, hostility of, 206, 
210; friendship of, with Ottawas, 
243 

Island Queen (passenger steamer), 
story of capture of, by John Y, 
Beall, 44-49, 51 



/. /. Houseman (schooner), capture 
of, 36 

/. W. Van Sant (steamer), accident 

to, on rapids, 371 
Jack River (Canada), trading post 

on, 386 

Jacker, Edward, discovery of Mar- 
quette's grave by, 239 

Jackson, Andrew, democracy in era 
of, 322 

Jackson, Frank D., interview with, 
328, 329; efforts of, to remove 
Kelly's army, 332, 333 ; suggestion 
of, 337 

Jackson, Thomas J., Bible given by, 
35 

James Bay, region surveyed near, by 
Joliet, 248 

Jamestown (Virginia), exposition at, 
109, 110; founding of, 206 

Java (steamer), voyage of, 366 

Jefferson, Joseph, membership of, in 
theatrical company, 18; extract 
from autobiography of, 19-22 

Jefferson, Mrs. Joseph, membership 
of, in theatrical company, 18 

Jefferson, Joseph, Jr., membership of, 
in theatrical company, 18 

Jefferson Barracks (St. Louis), Jef- 
ferson Davis at, 347; Black Hawk 
sent to, 353, 354 

Jefferson House (Dubuque), mention 
of, 24 

Jesuits, service of, in Indian coun- 
try, 207, 230; recall of, 210 

Jobs, scarcity of, 325 

Johns, Ed, arrest of, 275; dismissal 
of case of, 275, 276; indictment 
of, 278 

Johns, Henry, association of, with 
Rainsbargers, 269, 271, 273; ef- 
forts of, to expose counterfeiters, 
271, 272; opinion of, concerning 
cause of Johnson's murder, 273; 
shooting of, 274; statement of, 
concerning assailants, 274 
Johnson, Andrew, mention of, 86, 87 
Johnson, Enoch, association of, with 
Rainsbargers, 270; arrest of, 270; 
part of, in counterfeiting scheme, 
270, 271, 272; release of, 271; 
death of, 272, 273; mention of, 
276 

Johnson, John W., letter from, re- 
lating to town sites, 367 

Johnson, Mag, quarrel with, 271; in- 
surance in favor of, 271; relation 
of, to Rainsbargers, 272, 273; 
affidavits made by, 273 

Johnson County, petition from, 152; 
Kirkwood's home in, 414 



442 



THE PALIMPSEST 



Johnson's Island (Lake Erie), plan 
to release prisoners at, 39, 49, 50; 
officer of, 48 

Joliet, Louis, journey of, on Missis- 
sippi River, 121, 122, 204, 211, 
212, 213, 217, 218, 233-239, 242- 
248, 363; impersonation of, in re- 
plica voyage, 215-228, 249, 250; 
visit of, to Indian village, 220-226; 
meeting of, with Marquette, 230, 
233, 242; characterization of, 240- 
248; life of, 241, 242; travels of, 
242, 245, 246, 247, 248; accident 
to, 246; report of, 246, 247; plans 
of, 247 ; granting of seigneuriage 
to, 248 ; British capture home of, 
248 ; Labrador explored by, 248 ; 
position held by, 248; death of, 
248 

Joliet, Marie, character of, 240 
Jones, A. K., service of, as referee, 
146 

Jones, Christopher Columbus, arrest 
of, 326 

Jones, George W., acquaintance of, 
with Jefferson Davis, 348, 349; 
influence of, at Galena, 351 
Jones, Hillary, remarks by, 112 
Jones County, Scotch in, 379, 392, 
394, 396 

Josephine (steamer), rapids crossed 
by, 366 

Journey, A Pioneer, by J. M. D. 
Burrows, 301-306 

Jury, coroner's, decision of, concern- 
ing Johnson's death, 273 

Kaskaskia (Illinois), Tesson family 
at, 135 ; service of Marquette at, 
237, 238 

Kasson, John A., service of, as com- 
mittee chairman, 164 

Kaufman, B. F., B. T. Frederick rep- 
resented by, 79 

Kearny, Stephen W., dragoons com- 
manded by, 129 

Keel boats, use of, 364 

Kelley's Island (Lake Erie), trips to, 
41, 42; vessel at, 43, 44; Confed- 
erates at, 51 

Kelly, Charles T., industrial army led 
by, 327-345; speech of, 332; asser- 
tions of, concerning Coxey, 341, 
342; return of, 345 

Kelly's army, number of, 327, 328, 
330, 334, 335, 339, 340, 341, 342, 
343, 344, 345; militia called out 
on account of, 330, 331; suffering 
of, 330, 331; character of men in, 
330, 340, 341; enlisting of men in, 
330, 335, 336; treatment of, at 



Chautauqua grounds, 330, 331; 
conference of leaders of, 333 ; aid 
to, 334, 335, 338, 343 ; intelligence 
service of, 386, 337; reports about, 
337, 338; demands of, 338; stay 
of, at Des Moines, 338-343; inves- 
tigation of, 340, 341; criticism of, 
341; decline of, 343, 344, 345; 
condition of, 344, 345 ; popularity 
of, in Iowa, 360 

Kelly's Army, by Donald L. Mc- 
MURRY, 325-345 

Kentucky, Representative from, 88; 
Senator from, 287, 288, 289, 290; 
Kelly's men in, 344; Jefferson Da- 
vis and Sarah Taylor in, 356, 357; 
emigrants from, 400 

Keokuk, dam at, 131; convention at, 
155, 156; suggestion for removal 
of national capital to, 163, 164; 
lecture by R. J. Burdette at, 190; 
character of people at, 290; refer- 
ence to, 297; rapids near, 362; 
importance of location of, 367; 
maple forests near, 369; steamers 
at, 373; lightering at, 374, 376; 
railroad at, 378 

Kepner, G. W., grain handled by, 59 

Kilbourne, D. W., Montrose laid out 
by, 130; trial of, for title to land, 
130 

Kildonan (Scotland), enclosures in, 
381; emigrants from, 381, 382, 
385, 387, 391 

Kirkwood, Samuel J., appointment 
of, as delegate to National Capital 
Convention, 156, 169; biography 
of, 401, 402; handwriting of, 
403; clippings about, 404; urg- 
ing of, to write autobiography, 405 ; 
death of, 405, 406, 417; speeches 
of, 406, 410, 411, 412, 421, 422; 
character of, 407, 408; anecdotes 
about, 407, 408, 421; birthday an- 
niversaries of, 408 ; tribute to, 408, 
409; remarks by, in regard to 
Yewell portrait, 410; service of, as 
Governor, 410, 411, 420, 421; at- 
titude of, toward Union, 411, 412; 
influence of, in Iowa, 412, 413 ; 
admiration of, for Iowa, 414, 415; 
statue of, in Capitol, 417; pictures 
of, 419, 420; service of, as Secre- 
tary of Interior, 422, 423, 424, 
425; telegrams sent by, 423, 424; 
unique record of, 427; prominence 
of, 429 

Kirkwood, Samuel J., The Life and 
Times of, reference to, 401, 405 

Kirkwood, Jane Clark, (see Mrs. 
Samuel J. Kirkwood) 



INDEX 



443 



Kirkwood, Mrs. Samuel J., photo- 
graphs of, 401, 415; scrap-books 
of, 401-427; appreciation of, 401, 
402, 415, 416, 417; age of, 402; 
clippings about birthday celebra- 
tion of, 403 ; comment about, 415, 
416, 417; Red Cross work of, 417; 
contributions of, to history, 425, 
426, 427 

Kirkwood School, programs of, 417 

Kiskakon Indians, burial of Mar- 
quette by, 238, 239 

Knights of Labor, Kelly's army aid- 
ed by, 334, 335 

Knights of Labor, General Master 
Workman of the, appearance of, 
342, 343; declaration of, 342, 343 

Kotzebue, August F. F. von, play by, 
16 

La Chine Rapids, accident to Joliet 
at, 246 

Lafayette Circus Company, perform- 
ances of, 14 

Lake Cooper, Tesson orchard covered 
by, 131 

Lake Erie, information about steamer 
on, 38; Beall's activities on, 51; 
route on, 243 

Lake Michigan, Joliet's voyage on, 
212 

Lake Nipissing, reference to, 206, 

207; Joliet, on, 245 
Lake Ontario, Indian village on, 243 
Lake Superior, Indians near, 208 ; 

mention of, 221; Joliet on, 243; 

capture of fort on, 387 
Lake Winnebago, expedition on, 213 
Lake Winnipeg, purchase of territory 

near, 382; voyage across, 386 
Langley, C. C, record of, in field 

meet, 147, 148 
Laon (France), Marquette's birth- 
place at, 229 
La Pointe (Canada), Marquette's 

mission at, 231, 232 
Larrabee, William, proposal of, to 

cede land for national capital, 163 ; 

reward offered by, 274 
La Salle, Rose de, character of, 229 
La Salle, Sieur de, expedition of, 243 
"Lass o' Gowrie", performance of, 22 
Lathrop, H. W., remarks by, 401 ; 

handwriting of, 403 ; assistance 

given to, 405 
Latin, study of, 68; terms from, 398 
Lauder, Harry, songs of, 379 
Lawrence (steamer), ascent of rapids 

by, 366 

Lawyer, frontier, description of, 261, 
262 



Lea, Albert M., dragoons commanded 
by, 129; report of, 293, 294 

Lee, Robert E., study of, 34; visit 
of, to Des Moines Rapids, 129, 
130; survey by, 362 

Lee County, naming of, 130 ; sugges- 
tion for removal of national cap- 
ital to, 163 

Leflfingwell, W. E., appointment of, 
as delegate to National Capital 
Convention, 156 

Legislative Episodes, by John Ely 
Bbiggs, 90-98 

Leicester, Mr., membership of, in the- 
atrical company, 18 

Lenox College, Scotch in, 397 

Lesslie, Charles, purchase of wheat 
from, 56 

Lewis, E. R., boxing match won by, 

144, 149 
Lewis, Sinclair, cynicism of, 263 
Lighter-barges, use of, on rapids, 

368; building of, 376, 377 
Lighter-boats, introduction of, 375; 

repair of, 377 
Lightermen, service of, on rapids, 

363, 364, 367, 368, 369, 373,375; 

cost of, 373, 374; disappearance 

of, 378; dialect of, 399 
Lighters, loading of, 369, 370; crew 

on, 370; return of, to Montrose, 

374, 375 

Lincoln, Abraham, assistance of, to 
Joseph Jefferson, 19 ; assassination 
of, 50; reference to, 175, 407; 
part of, in Black Hawk Wfir, 353 ; 
debates of, 419; comparison of, 
with Kirkwood, 419, 420 

Linn County, purchase of wheat in, 
60 

Lischer, Julius, fencing by, 149 

Literature, materials for, furnished 
by Iowa pioneers, 253 

Little Theatre movement, character- 
istic of, 14 

Littleton, M., steamer commanded by, 
367 

Livingston, Grandmother, accident to, 

393 ; journey of, 393 
Livingston, Donald, journey of, to 

Scotch Grove, 392, 393 
Livingston, James, settlement by, 394 
Livingston, John, journey of, to 

Scotch Grove, 391, 392 
Livingstons, death of, by freezing, 

395 

Locke, C. E., record of, in field meet, 
147 

Locusts, Rocky Mountain, ravages by, 
193-202 

Lodge, H. C, position of, 428 



444 



THE PALIMPSEST 



Logan, John A., removal of national 
capital supported by, 154, 155, 
167, 168; political influence of, 
424 

Logansport (Illinois), Burdette at, 
176 

London, Jack, characterization of, 

335; Kelly's army joined by, 335; 

quotation from diary of, 335 ; boats 

manned by, 343, 344 
London (England), butter exported 

to, 74; deputation of tenants to, 

381 

Long Grove, wheat raised near, 55 
Longfellow, H. W., poem of, 250 
Lorna Doone, reference to, 267 
Los Angeles (California), pastorate 

of Burdette in, 192 
Loughridge, William, vote of, for re- 
moval of national capital, 154 
Louis XIV, reference to, 204, 211, 
243, 244 

Louisburg (Canada), capture of, 204 
Louisiana, rule of, by Spain, 122 ; 

lieutenant governor of, 124, 126; 

emigrants from, 214 
Louisville (Kentucky), Kelly's army 

at, 344 

Lowe, Ralph P., service of, as dele- 
gate to National Capital Conven- 
tion, 156, 157, 161, 162, 169 

Lyon, Lucius, new Territory support- 
ed by, 289 

Macaulay, Thomas B., history by, 68 
MacBkidb, Dorothy, Lieutenant 

Jefferson Davis, 346-357 
McCarthy, C. G., speech by, 103 
McConkev, Fremont, description of, 

265, 266 
McConkey, Kate, mention of, 262 
McCosh, Jean, character of, 67 
McCoy, David, coming of, to Iowa, 

389, 390 

McCrary, George W., service of, as 

chairman of Committee of the 

Whole, 168 
MacDonnell, Miles, speech by, 384, 

385; capture of, 386 
McEldery, C. W., record of, in field 

meet, 147, 148 
"McGregor", performance of, 22 
McGregor, Spanish land grant in, 

122; Joliet near, 213; voyageurs 

at, 215, 226; legend of, 356 
McGuffey's Sixth Reader, readings 

from, 26 

McHenry, William H., writ of in- 

.iunction by, 80 
Mcllrath, J., record of, in field meet, 

146, 148 



Mclntyres, settlement ma^le by, 894 

McKenzie, Alexander, membership of, 
in theatrical company, 18 

McKenzie, Mrs. Alexander, member- 
ship of, in theatrical company, 18 

McKenzie-Jefferson Company, visit of, 
to Iowa, 18-24; plays of, 22, 23 

Mackinac, Straits of, mention of, 
208, 211 

Mackinac Island, Marquette at, 232, 

233; Joliet at, 246 
McKinley, William, appointment of 

James Wilson by, 67, 71, 72, 77; 

anecdote of, 68, 69 
McLain, Alexander, coming of, to 

Iowa, 389, 390 
McMillan, Mrs. Bert, party given by, 

119 

McMuRRY, Donald L., Kelly's Army, 
325-345 

McNally, Sherman J., "Bob" Bur- 
dette — Humorist, 173-192 

McPherson, M. L., appointment of, 
as delegate to National Capital Con- 
vention, 169 

Madison, James, quotation from, 159 

Magoun, George F., appointment of, 
as delegate to National Capital 
Convention, 156, 169 

Mahan, Bruce E., Bridging the Ce- 
dar, 307-320 

Mahan, Bruce E,, A Confederate 
Spy, 33-52 

Mahajt, Bruce E., The Discovery of 
Iowa, 215-228 

Mahan, Bruce E., The First Iowa 
Field Day, 137-150 

Mahan, Bruce E., The Iowa Thes- 
pians, 14-24 

Mahan, Bruce E., Pleasant Hill 
Dramatics, 25-29 

Mahan, Bruce E., The Scotch Grove 
Trail, 379-397 

Main Street (Davenport), mention of, 
56 

Maine (battleship), sinking of, 104 
Maiden (Canada), Confederate agents 

at, 42; steamer at, 42, 48 
Man of Vision, A, by Bertha Ann 

Reuter, 65-77 
Mandan (steamer), voyage of, on 

Mississippi, 366 
Manitoba (Canada), territory in, 882 
Manitoulins (Lake Huron), mention 

of, 208 

Mansfield (Ohio), law office in, 418 
Maquoketa River, limestone from 
quarries along, 88 ; Scotch settle- 
ments on, 379, 891; bee trees 
along, 894, 895 
Mara, James, boxing of, 144, 149 



INDEX 



445 



Markets, reports of, 57, 61, 62; sur- 
plus of butter on, 74 

Marquette, Jacques, exploration of 
Mississippi River by, 121, 122, 
204, 211, 212, 213, 232, 233, 234, 
235, 245, 363; impersonation of, 
in replica voyage, 215, 249, 250; 
remarks of, 216, 233-235; charac- 
terization of, 229-239; career of, 
229, 230; death of, 238, 239; 
meeting of, with Joliet, 242 

Marqvstte, Father, by Ruth B. Mid- 
DAUQH, 229-239 

Marquette University, remains of 
Marquette at, 239 

Marsh, E. A., service of, as timer, 
146 

Marshal, acting assistant provost, re- 
port to, 40 

Marshall County, election returns 
from, 78, 79, 80; trial in, 274, 
278; prisoners confined in jail in, 
278 

Marshalltown, counsel from, 79; dis- 
posal of ballots in, 82, 83; taking 
of Rainsbargers to, 279; work of 
Nate Rainsbarger at, 280 

Maryland, Bemis family from, 34; 
Kelly's men in, 345; newspapers 
of, 407 

Maryland (battleship), part of, at 

sinking of the Iowa, 112 
Maskoutens, Joliet to explore country 

of, 244 

Mass meeting, holding of, 332; Kelly 
at, 332 

Massachusetts, mention of, 119, 198, 

428, 429; frontier of, 260 
Mattawan River, Joliet on, 245 
Matthew's Point (Virginia), capture 

of schooner at, 36 
Matthieson, Angus, settlement by, 394 
May, James, steamer commanded by, 
367 

Mayor of Council Bluffs, efforts of, 
to remove Kelly's army, 332, 333 

Mayor of Omaha, efforts of, to re- 
move Kelly's army, 332, 333 

Mechanic (steamer), voyage of, 366; 
accident to, 371 

Mechanic's Rock (Mississippi River), 
accident at, 371 

Medals, provision for, 141 

Medicine, College of, athletes in, 138 

Medill, Joseph, removal of national 
capital supported by, 155 

Menagerie, exhibition of, in early 
Iowa, 14 

Menominee Indians, Joliet's visit to, 
212 

Menominee River, explorers on, 212 



Mercantile Library Hall (St. Louis), 
meeting of National Capital Con- 
vention at, 157 

Merchants, bankruptcy of, 62 

Merrill, Samuel, delegates to National 
Capital Convention appointed by, 
156, 169; removal of national cap- 
ital urged by, 156, 157, 161, 162 

Meskwaki Indians, Joseph Tesson 
with, 136 

Metropolitan Detective Police, chief 
of, 50 

Mexico, declaring of war against, 54; 
battlefields of. 352 

Mexico (steamer), voyage of, 366; 
accident to, 371 

Michigan, acting assistant provost 
marshal of, 40 ; officer in, 49 ; Sen- 
ator from, 289 

Michigan (gunboat), information 
about, 38; plans of capture of, 39, 
40, 48, 49; officer of, 40 

MiDDAUGH, Ruth B,, Father Mar- 
quette, 229-239 

Middle Bass Island (Lake Erie), ves- 
sel at, 43, 46; Confederates at, 51 

Middle West, gi'owth of population 
in, 153 

Middlerib, Mr., story of, 179, 180, 
183-188 

Mifford Haven (Virginia), burning 

of schooner at, 36 
Milburn, N. L., suspension bridge 

built by, 308-320 
Military burial, description of, 10 
Military commission, trial of Beall 

by, 50, 51, 52 
Militia, calling out of, to restrain 

Kelly's army, 329, 330, 331 
Miller, Samuel Freeman, prominence 

of, 429 

Miller, Samuel H., report by, 81, 88; 
proposal of, for removal of nation- 
al capital, 155, 156 

"Miller Boy", playing of, 25 

Mills, William, comment by, on loca- 
tion of national capital, 165, 166 

Milwaukee Railroad, tearing up of 
tracks of, 334 

Miners, removal of, 350-352 

Mingan Islands, Joliet in, 248 

Minnesota, march of dragoons across, 
129; Selkirk's territory in, 382; 
journey of Scots across, 391, 392, 
393 ; newspapers of, 407 

Mississippi, visit of Jefferson Davis 
in, 346, 347 

Mississippi (battleship), firing of, on 
Iowa, 111, 112 

Mississippi River, accident in cross- 
ing of, 21; produce shipped by 



446 



THE PALIMPSEST 



way of, 54; forests along, 121; 
rapids in, 121, 361-378; Mar- 
quette's journey on, 121, 122; Du- 
buque's grant on, 122 ; exploration 
of, by Z. M. Pike, 127; Joliet's 
expedition on, 213, 244, 245; fur 
traders on, 214; replica voyage on, 
215-228; man's control of, 218, 
219; celebration on, 249; travel on, 
261; mention of, 285, 287, 308, 
333, 343, 356, 357; Kelly's army 
on, 344; Jefferson Davis on, 347; 
guiding of timber on, 347, 348; 
•waterway to, 349 ; crossing of, 
352; steamers on, 365, 366, 367; 
lighter-barges on, 376, 377; jour- 
ney of Scots along, 391 

Mississippi Valley, proposals to move 
national capital to, 151-169; emi- 
gration to, 205, 206; democracy 
in, 321, 322; new parties in, 359, 
360; fertility of, 389 

Missouri, growth of population in, 
153 

Missouri River, fur traders on, 214; 
Marquette at mouth of, 234; cross- 
ing of, 328; exploration of, by 
steamer, 365 
Mitchigamea Indians, Marquette and 

Joliet's encounter with, 234, 235 
Moine (see Des Moines Rapids) 
Moingona River, mouth of, 362, 363 
Money, circulation of, 201; use of 
Spanish dollars as, 301; issue of 
paper currency as, 302 ; carrying 
of, by Burrows, 302 
Monterey County, history of, 266, 
284 

Montrose, laying out of, 130; Tesson 
orchard at, 130; voyageurs at, 
226; pageant at, 249; rapids near, 
362; importance of location of, 
367; forests near, 369; steamers 
at, 373; lightering business at, 
374, 376; shipyard at, 377; rail- 
road at, 378 

Moore's opera house, convention in, 
420, 421 

Morals, relation of sport to, 171, 172 
Morse, N. C, testimony of, 276 
Mortgages, frequency of, 325 
Mothers, tribute to, 263, 264 
Mott, Frank L., dialect words studied 

by, 400; quotation from, 427 
Mt. Pleasant, athletic meeting at, 

138; mention of, 250 
Murray, Charles Augustus, report of, 

290, 294 

Muscatine, grain trade at, 60 ; voy- 
ageurs at, 226; growth of, 307; 
bridge at, 308, 309, 315, 316, 817, 



318, 319; attitude of, toward Mil- 
burn, 318, 319, 320 
Muscatine (steamer), use of, 372 
Muscatine, Washington, and Oska- 
loosa Road and Bridge Company, 
organization of, 308; funds raised 
by, 308, 310, 311 
"Mustache, The Rise and Fall of 
the", 190 

Nashville, wreck of steamer at, 371 
National Capital Convention, dele- 
gates to, 156, 169; meeting of, 
156, 157; resolutions passed by, 
157-160; calling of, 168, 169 
National Guard (see Militia) 
Navy, United States, harbor guarded 
by, 104 

Nebraska, Representative from, 81 
Negroes, work of, as ratters, 376; 

dialect of, 398, 399 
Neiville (steamer), rapids crossed by, 

366 

Neola, destruction of railroad at, 334 
New Albany, buying of grain at, 54 
New England, farmers of, 260; emi- 
grants from, 298, 400 
New France, Intendant of, 210; Mar- 
quette's start for, 230 ; governor of, 
243 

New Melleray, Abbey of, voyageurs 
at, 227 

New Orleans (Louisiana), business 

house at, 53 ; wheat market at, 54 ; 

departure of steamer from, 366 
New parties, cradle of, 359, 360 
New York, Beall's activities in, 51, 

52 ; emigrants from, in Iowa, 298, 

400 

New York (battleship), part of, in 
Battle of Santiago, 104, 105 

New York City, police headquarters 
in, 50 ; business house at, 53 ; pro- 
duce shipped to, 54, 55, 58, 60, 
61; visit of Burrows to, 57; wheat 
insured in, 61; freight to, 61; Vis- 
cay a at, 106 ; R. J. Burdette at, 
176-178; mention of, 282, 404; 
newspapers of, 407 

New York Tribune, accounts of Iowa 
in, 297-299; clipping from, 416 

New York Weekly, writers of, 265 

Newell, H. E., appointment of, as 
delegate to National Capital Con- 
vention, 156 

Newport (Rhode Island), silver ser- 
vice presented at, 103 

News Letter (Grinnell), field meet 
supported by, 145, 147 

Newspapers, clippings from, in scrap- 
books, 402, 403, 404 



INDEX 



447 



Niagara River, arrest made on bridge 
over, 50 

Nichols, De Witt C, boat piloted by, 
43 ; accosting of, 44 ; surrender of, 
45 ; warning given by, 48 ; orders 
to, 48 

Nicollet, Jean, explorations of, 207, 

208, 209, 212 
Nightingale, George L., play directed 

by, 16 

Niles' Weekly Register, description of 

steamer in, 364, 365 
Non-Partisan League, mention of, 

358 ^ 
North America, work of Jesuits in, 

230; wheat land in, 382 
North Bass Island (Lake Erie), 

steamer at, 43 
North Carolina, Representative from, 

81, 285 

North Dakota, Selkirk's territory in, 
382 

Northwest (steamer), accident to, 371 
North-West Company, attitude of, to- 
ward Scotch settlers, 383, 385, 
386; entertainment by, 385; ap- 
pointment by, 386; capture of 
headquarters of, 387 ; trial of Sel- 
kirk by, 387; union of, with Hud- 
son's Bay Company, 388 
Norway, emigrants from, 297 
Notes on Wisconsin Territory, quota- 
tion from, 293, 294 
Novel, treatment of, 281, 282; object 
of, 282 ; influence of historical set- 
ting of, 282 
Novelist, portrayal of historical back- 
ground by, 281; basis for judg- 
ment of, 281; responsibility of, 282, 
283 

Oakland (California), Kelly's army 
at, 328 

Oarsmen, duties of, 373, 374 

O'Brien County, pioneer from, 113 ; 
mention of, 117; devastation in, by 
locusts, 193-202 ; visit of commit- 
tee to, 196 

Ode to the Planet Mars, 6 

Ogden (Utah), Kelly's army at, 328 

Ohio, emigrants from, 298 ; Kelly's 
men in, 344; newspapers of, 407; 
early life in, 417, 418 

Ohio River, Marquette at mouth of, 
234; travel on, 261; mention of, 
343; Kelly's army on, 344; light- 
ers built on, 376, 377 

Old Ridge Road, crossing of, by pio- 
neers, 253, 255 

Olive Branch (steamer), voyage of, 
366 



Olmstead, S. B., resolution on capital 

removal introduced by, 152 
Olympic games, climax of, 170 
Omaha (Nebraska), Kelly's army at, 

328, 333; trade unionists of, 334 
One hundred yard dash, records in, 

143, 144, 146, 147 
Oregon (battleship), station of, in 

harbor, 105 
Osceola County, visit of committee to, 

196, 197 

Osgood, B. L., election of, as presi- 
dent of athletic association, 139 
Oskaloosa, Mrs. Gage at, 299 
"Othello", performance of, 22 
Ottawa Indians, flight of, 210; Mar- 
quette's work with, 231; friendship 
of, with Iroquois, 243 
Ottawa River, voyages on, 206, 245 
Ottumwa, Kelly's army at, 344 
Ould, Robert, protest from, 37; let- 
ter to, 52 

Outlaws, presence of, in Hardin 
County, 267; headquarters of, 267, 
268 

Over the Rapids, by Ben Hub Wil- 
son, 361-378 

Owens, "Sip", service of, as pilot, 
372 

Pacific Ocean, American fleet in, 111 
' Pack rats", use of term of, 399 
Paducah (Kentucky), contractor 

from, 308 
Paine, H. E., resolution for capital 

removal introduced by, 154 
Palimpsest, The, reference to, 415 
Palimpsests, Restorer of Iowa, by 

Beetha M. H. Shambaugh, 253- 

266 

Panama, Bay of, Iowa in, 110, 111 
Park Theatre (New York), play giv- 
en at, 16 

Parker, L. F., attitude of, on rail- 
roads, 93 

Parkhuest, Heney Clinton, The 

Siege of Corinth, 1-13 
Parliamentary law, James Wilson's 

knowledge of, 71 
Parsons' Ferry, Burrows at, 304 
Parties, new, 359, 360 
Pasadena (California), ministry of 

Burdette in, 192 
Patterson, John G., appointment of, 

as delegate to National Capital 

Convention, 156; speech by, 162, 

163 

Paxson, Frederic L., comment by, on 

sport, 171 
Pemberton, James, Jefferson Davis 

accompanied by, 347 



448 



THE PALIMPSEST 



Pembina carts, overland trip in, 389, 

390; description of, 390 
Penn, William, petition of, for land 

grant, 204 
Pennsylvania, Representative from, 

81; R. J. Burdette's family in, 

174; emigrants from, 298 
People's Party Political Club, Kelly's 

army aided by, 339 
Peoria (Illinois), home of R. J. Bur- 

dette in, 174, 175; mention of, 

176 

Peoria Review, R. J. Burdette's posi- 
tion with, 176, 177, 178 

Peoria Transcript, R. J. Burdette's 
position with, 176, 177, 178 

Pere, Jean, Joliet accompanied by, 
243 

Peterson, Magdalena, marriage of, to 
Tesson, 135 

Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), visitors 
to shipyard at, 101; silver service 
in navy yard at, 110; construction 
of Iowa in, 110 

Philippine Islands, return of Fifty- 
first Iowa Infantry from, 109 

Philo Parsons (passenger boat), cap- 
ture of, 40-49, 51 

Phipps, Sir William, Anticosti cap- 
tured by, 248 

Photography, service of, 64 

Pierce, P. G., selection of, as delegate 
to athletic meeting, 138; election 
of, as officer of association, 139; 
boxing contest of, 149 

Pike, Zebulon M., visit of, to L. H. 
Tesson, 127; remarks by, 127; 
ascent of Des Moines Rapids by, 
127, 364; voyage of, on Mississip- 
pi, 363, 364 

Pike (steamer), voyage of, 366 

Pike's Hill, view of, 216 

Pilots, service of, on rapids, 370, 
371, 372, 374; rivalry among, 370, 
371 

Pioneer Journey, A, by J. M. D. 
BUEROWS, 301-306 

Pioneers, experiences of, 253, 262, 
263; health of, 291; religion of, 
295, 296; democracy of, 821-323 

"Pizarro", performance of, 16 

Plants, distribution of, 76 

Play, importance of, 170-172 

Pleasant Hill district school, enter- 
tainments at, 25, 27, 28; teacher 
of, 26; description of, 27, 28 

Pleasant Hill Dramatic Olub, organ- 
ization of, 26; success of, 28, 29; 
disbandment of, 29 

Pleasant HiU Dramatics, by BbuOB 
E. Mahan, 25-29 



Plumbe, Richard, Washington Hotel 

kept by, 24 
Pluton (destroyer), destruction of, 

105, 106, 107 
Plymouth Church (New York), H. 

W. Beecher's lectures in, 177, 178 
Poe, Edgar Allen, stories by, 281 
Pointing the Way, by Laenas G. 

Weld, 205-214 
Pole vault, training for, 139; records 

in, 143, 146, 148 
Polk County, writ of injunction asked 

in, 80 

Population, westward movement of, 
153, 158 

Populists, plan of, 325; attitude of, 
toward Kelly's army, 339; resolu- 
tions introduced by, 345 
Pottawattamie County, sherifE of, 

329, 331 
Prairie, description of, 255 
Prairie du Chien (Wisconsin), grant 
of land near, 122 ; mention of, 209, 
346; view of, 215; Burrows at, 
301; stage route near, 302; Fort 
Crawford located at, 347; timber 
sent to, 347; traditions of, 356; 
purchase of supplies at, 389 
Prairie fire, description of, 256 
Preacher, pioneer, description of, 261 
Preemption, demand for, 287 
Premier, C. D., fencing by, 149 
Presbyterian Church (Pasadena), R. 

J. Burdette pastor of, 192 
Presbyterian Church, First (Scotch 

Grove), organization of, 396 
Presbyterians, Scotch, dissatisfaction 
of, 388 

Prettyman, Mr., remarks to, 55 
Price, Hiram, vote of, for removal of 

national capital, 154 ; appointment 

of, as delegate to National Capital 

Convention, 156 
Prices, changes in, 55, 61, 62 
Primghar, grasshoppers at, 199 
Prince of Wales (vessel), Scotch 

emigrants on, 383; sickness aboard, 

383 

Privateers, danger from, 54 
Pryor, Roger A., mention of, 50 
Purcell, Thomas, orders to, 11 

Quebec (Canada), founding of, 206; 
Indians at, 210; Marquette at, 230, 
242; Joliet at, 233, 240, 241, 242, 
246, 248 

Quern stones, use of, 394 

Quick, Herbert, Iowa history told by, 
253-266; characterization of, 253, 
254; quotations from, 254-266, 
283, 284; style of, 255, 288, 284; 



INDEX 



449 



attitude of, toward pioneers, 268, 
264; biographical material used 
by, 265; popularity of, 266 

Raccoon Forks, proposal to remove 
capital to, 152 

Race, holding of, 142, 143 

Radicalism, kinds of, 360 

Radisson, explorations of, 210 

Railroads, stimulation of construc- 
tion of, 90; regulation of, 90-94; 
protection for, 328, 329; resent- 
ment against, 331; refusal of, to 
carry Kelly's army, 333, 334, 343; 
carrying of lighterage by, 378 

Railroads, Committee on, bills re- 
ferred to, 91 

Rainsbarger, Emanuel, mention of, 
268, 269 

Rainsbarger, Finley, crimes of, 269, 
270; sentence of, 269, 270; arrest 
of, 275; death of, 275; story of, in 
The Eawkeye, 284 

Rainsbarger, Mrs. Finley, mention of, 
278 

Rainsbarger, Frank, mention of, 268, 
269; bail furnished by, 271; in- 
surance by, 271, 273; arrest of, 
273; aid to, 273; trial of, 273, 
274, 276, 277, 278, 279; change 
of venue secured by, 274; sentence 
of, 279; release of, 279, 280; de- 
scription of, 279, 280 

Rainsbarger, George, mention of, 269; 
arrest of, 279; taking of, to Mar- 
shalltown, 279; acquittal of, 279 

Rainsbarger, Joe, mention of, 269; 
arrest of, 278, 279; release of, 278, 
279; taking of, to Marshalltown, 
279 

Rainsbarger, John, mention of, 269; 
arrest of, 279; taking of, to Mar- 
shalltown, 279; acquittal of, 279 

Rainsbarger, Manse, arrest of, 275; 
killing of, 275; story of, in The 
Hawkey e, 284 

Rainsbarger, Nathan, mention of, 
271; arrest of, 273; aid for, 273; 
trial of, 273, 274, 276, 277, 278; 
description of, 276, 279; appeal of, 
278, 279; conviction of, 278,279; 
release of, 279, 280; employment 
of, 280 

Rainsbarger, Nettie, mention of, 271; 
insurance for, 271, 273; visits of 
Mag Johnson to, 273 ; trip of, to 
Eldora, 273 ; affidavits made by, 
273; evidence contributed by, 277, 
278, 279 

Rainsbarger, William, mention of, 
§6S; sows of, 269; officg of, 270; 



arrest of, 275, 279; dismissal of 
case of, 275, 276; indictment of, 
278; taking of, to Marshalltown, 
279; acquittal of, 279 

Rainsbargers, story of, in Hardin 
County, 268-279 

Rapids (Mississippi River), naviga- 
tion over, 361-378; location of, in 
Mississippi River, 361, 362; de- 
scription of, 362, 364, 368, 369; 
map of, opposite p. 372; freight 
on, 372, 373 

Rapids, Over the, by Ben Hue Wil- 
son, 361-378 

"Ratters", work of, at rapids, 368, 
374, 375; union of, 375, 376; na- 
tionality of, 376 

Read, G. W., service of, at track 
meet, 142, 146 

Real estate dealer, frontier, descrip- 
tion of, 261 

Recreation, need of, 170 

Rector, Frederick, railroad legislation 
favored by, 92 

Red Bird (Indian), testimony of, 
against T. F. Riddick, 130 

Red Cedar River, timber from, 347, 

■ 348 

Red River carts, description of, 390 

Red River of the North, colony estab- 
lished on, 381, 382, 383; location 
of, 382; attack on, by North- West 
Company, 386; seed delivered to, 
389; hardships of Scotch at, 391; 
emigration from, 391, 392, 400; 
language of people from, 396 

Red River Settlement, Scotch at, 384, 
385, 386; departure of colonists 
from, 386, 387, 389, 390; dissatis- 
faction of Scots at, 388 

Red River trail, migration over, to 
Iowa, 389, 390, 391, 392 

Red Rover (steamer), voyage of, 366 

Redpath Lyceum Bureau, engagement 
of R. J. Burdette by, 191 

Reed, J. F., record of, in field meet, 
146, 148 

Reina Mercedes (battleship), guard- 
ing of, by American fleet, 107, 108 

Republican State convention, Iowa, 
removal of national capital asked 
by, 168; meeting of, 420, 421 

Republicans, defeat of, 78; election 
of, 78, 79; illegal ballots issued by, 
83 

Restorer of Iowa Palimpsests, by 
Bertha M, H. Shambaugh, 253- 
266 

Reuter, Bertha Ann, A Man of 

Vision, 65-77 
Reverg Housp, Mag Johnsop at, 273 



450 



THE PALIMPSEST 



Rice, John, assistance given to, by 

evangelist, 396 
' Richard III", performance of, 22 
Riddick, Thomas F., purchase of Tes- 

son land by, 127; law suit of, 130; 

disposal of orchard by heirs of, 130 
Riley, James Whitcomb, remarks by, 

173 

Rivers, fording of, 390, 391 
"Rob Roy", performance of, 22 
Robertson, Thomas A., request of, 88 
Robeson, Geo. F., The Early lowans, 
285-300 

Robidoux, Joseph, attorney for, 126; 
purchase of L. H. Tesson's farm 
by, 126, 127; death of, 127 

Rock Island (Illinois), proposal to 
move national capital to, 155; Ar- 
senal at, 227; rapids near, 361 

Rock Island Railroad, agent of, 333 ; 
tearing up tracks of, 333 

"Rock" Rapids, location of, 361 

Roeder, Mike, experiences of, 194, 
195 

Roman Catholic Church, cathedral 

built by, 229 
Romance, importance of, in history, 

30, 31 

Rome (Italy), mention of, 133; or- 
ganized sport in, 170 

Roosevelt, Theodore, anecdote of, 69, 
77 

Rose, Alexander, settlement made by, 
394 

Ross, John, James Wilson taught by, 
68 

Rubart, Ida, membership of, in 

Pleasant Hill Dramatic Club, 26 
Rubart, Roe, membership of, in 

Pleasant Hill Dramatic Club, 26 
Rufus Putnam (steamer), rapids 

crossed by, 148 
Ruggles, G. P., record of, in field 

meet, 148 
Running broad jump, winner of, 143, 

147 

Running high jump, records in, 148 
Russia, war declared on, 57; wheat 

exported by, 57; ports blockaded 

in, 61 

Saber swinging, exhibition of, 149 
Sac Indians, Tesson's visit to, 123 ;. 

French army defeated by, 204; 

service of, on rapids, 363; village 

of, 364 

Sacramento (California), mention of, 
243, 335; Kelly's army at, 328 

Saguenay River, survey of region 
near, by Joliet, 248 

Sailors, Spanish, bravery of, 109 



"Sailor's Hornpipe", performance of, 
22 

St. Anthony, Falls of, steamers at, 
366 

St. Charles (Missouri), purchase of 
trees at, 125 

St. Francisville (Missouri), sawmill 
near, 376 

St. Ignace (Michigan), mission at, 
211, 229, 233; burial of Mar- 
quette at, 238, 239; Joliet and 
Marquette at, 245, 246 

St. Lawrence, Gulf of, • exploration 
of, 206; settlements on, 210; map 
of, 241; island in, 248 

St. Louis (Missouri), business house 
at, 53 ; prices at, 54, 55 ; Tesson 
in, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 135, 
136; Spanish officials in, 124; 
traders at, 125 ; meeting of Na- 
tional Capital Convention at, 156- 
160; reference to, 306, 355; pass- 
ing of, by Kelly's army, 344; Jef- 
ferson Davis at, 347 ; start of voy- 
age from, 363; arrival of steamer 
at, 364, 365 

St. Louis (boat), Sarah Taylor on, 
357 

St. Louis and Keokuk Northern 
Packet Company, lightering con- 
trolled by, 375 

Saint-Lusson, expedition of, 211, 243, 
244 

St. Mary's College, celebration at, 216 
St. Paul (Minnesota), mention of, 

389; arrival of Scotch at, 392 
Sampson, W. T., Iowa commanded 

by, 103; gift accepted by, 103; 

flagship of, 104; conference held 

by, 105 

Samuel Pearsall (schooner), capture 
of, 36 

Sandusky (Ohio), plan to capture 
gunboat at, 39, 41; passenger 
route to, 40 ; Confederate agents 
at, 40, 43, 48 ; islands north of, 
43 ; Island Queen from, 44 

Sandwich (Canada), boat at, 41, 42, 
49 ; Confederate agents at, 42, 43, 
49 

San Francisco (California), Iowa in 
harbor at, 109; industrial army at, 
327, 328; mention of, 344, 404 

Sankey, Mr., membership of, in the- 
atrical company, 18 

Santiago (Cuba), Iowa at, 103, 104; 
battle at, 103-109, 110 

Sanlt Ste. Marie, commerce in, 208; 
expedition at, 211; Marquette at, 
231; celebration at, 243, 244 

Savage, A. C, election of, on execu- 



INDEX 



451 



tive committee, 139; service of, as 
superintendent, 145, 146 
Savanna (Illinois), buying of grain 
at, 54 

Savery House, waiter from, 98 

Scandinavians, settlements of, in 
Iowa, 297 

Scenery, accident to, 21, 22 

Schaeffer,, Charles A., presence of, 
at mass meeting, 140 

Schaeffer, Elizabeth, prizes distributed 
by, 141, 144 

Schley, W. S., battleship in command 
of, 104, 105 

Schools, provisions for, 396, 397 

Scientists, employment of, by Depart- 
ment of Agriculture, 73, 74 

Scotch, hardships of, 379-382, 390- 
396; entertainment of, at Fort 
Gibralter, 385; offers made to, 
385; return of, to Red River, 386; 
killing of, by North-West Company, 
386, 387; Indian treaties with, 
387; dissatisfaction of, in Red 
River Valley, 388; utensils used 
by, 395; heritage of, 397 

Scotch Grove, Red River colonists at, 
391, 392, 393 ; early days in, 394, 
395, 396; relics at, 394, 395, 396; 
first church at, 396 ; use of Gaelic 
language at, 396; Scotch evan- 
gelist at, 396; education at, 396, 
397 

Scotch Grove Township, volunteers in 
Civil War from, 397 

Scotch Grove Trail, The, by Bruce 
E. Mahan, 379-397 

Scotland, James Wilson from, 66 ; 
emigration from, 66, 294, 296, 
379; discipline in homes of, 66, 
68 ; allotments to emigrants from, 
384, 385; mention of, 387; relics 
of, 390 

Scott, Sir Walter, reading of stories 
of, 68 

Scott County, wheat crop in, 59 
S crap-Books of a Quiet Little Lady 
with Silvery Hair, The, by Bertha 
M. H. Shambatjgh, 401-427 
Scrap-books, Mrs. Kirkwood's love 
for, 401; donation of, to State His- 
torical Society, 401; use of, 401, 
402 ; description of, 402, 403 ; 
contents of, 402, 403, 406-427; his- 
torical value of, 418, 419, 425, 
426, 427 

Seattle (Washington), totem pole at, 
417 

Sebastopol (Russia), port of, 57; 

siege of, 61 
Second Congressional District, Kirk- 



wood elected by, 404; campaign in, 
406 

Selkirk, Earl of, agents of, 381, 389; 
settlement of, 382, 387, 389, 397; 
capture of fort by, 387; offers 
made by, 387; trial of, 387; death 
of, 388 

Selkirk's Red River Settlement, Scots 
at, 379; restrictions on North- 
west Company at, 385; map of, 
388; journey to, 397 

Semple, Robert, office of, 386; ar- 
rival of, at Red River, 386; death 
of, 387 

Senate (United States), Grant bill 
passed by, 84; debate in, on cap- 
ital removal, 168; opposition in, to 
new Territory, 287, 288; Kirk- 
wood in, 406, 421 
Seven Oaks (Canada), attack at, 387 
Seventy-five yard dash, records in, 
146, 148 

Shafter, William R., conference with, 
105 

Shakespeare Coffee House and Free 
Admission News Room, theater in, 
15 

Shakespeare Hall, description of, 15, 
16; play given in, 17, 18, 23; dis- 
appearance of, 24 

Shambatjgh, Bertha M. H., Re- 
storer of Iowa Palimpsests, 253- 
266 

Shambaugh, Bertha M. H., The 
Scrap-Book of a Quiet Little Lady 
with Silvery Hair, 401-427 
Shamrock (steamer), voyage of, 366 
Sharp, Abbie Gardner, book by, 282, 
283 

Shaw, Henry W., mention of, 190 
Shaw, Leslie M., position of, 429 
Sheep, shipment of, to Canada, 388, 
389 

Sheldon, mention of, 113, 119 
Shellcross, John, steamer commanded 
by, 367 

Shepard, Charles, remarks of, on 
western lands, 285, 286, 287 

Sheriff of Pottawattamie County, ac- 
tivities of, concerning Kelly's army, 
329, 331 

Sherman, Buren R., visit of, to Kirk- 
wood, 408, 409 

Sherman, Hoyt, appointment of, as 
delegate to National Capital Con- 
vention, 169 

Sherman, W. T., study of, 34; state- 
ment by, on removal of national 
capital, 160, 161 

"Shielings", description of, 379, 380 

Shipping, suspending of, 54 



452 



THE PALIMPSEST 



Shot put, records in, 139, 144, 147 

Siboney (Cuba), conference at, 105 
Sick, care for, 334 

Sinclair, Donald, arrival of, at 
Scotch Grove, 391, 392; anecdote 
about, 392 
Sinclair, Mrs. Donald, stories by, 392 
Sinsinawa Mound (Wisconsin), 

George W. Jones at, 348 
Sioux County, mention of, 117; visit 

of committee to, 196, 197 
Skip-to-My-Lou, playing of, 25 
Slattery, Jeremiah, arrival of, at 
State University, 138; participa- 
tion of, in first Iowa field meet, 
139, 142, 143, 144, 146, 147, 148; 
service of, in Boer War, 150 
Slattery, William P., arrival of, at 
State University, 138; participa- 
tion of, in first Iowa field meet, 
139, 142, 143, 144, 146, 147, 148 
Slew grass, use of, for fuel, 117 
Smelter (boat). Burrow's trip on, 
301 

Smith, Morgan L., fight of brigade 
commanded by, 7 

Smith, Tom, part of, in court mar- 
tial, 355 

"Smug Old Lady", Hudson's Bay 

Company nicknamed, 388 
Snake Hollow, Burrows at, 301 
Snakes, abundance of, 9 
Soil, chemical analysis of, 76 
Soldiers, presence of, in Congress, 84 
South, hopes of, 39; introduction of 

new products in, 76 
South America, trip around, 105 
South Bass Island (Lake Erie), ves- 
sel at, 43 

South Hill Square (Burlington), 
mention of, 179 

Southern Pacific Railroad, Kelly's 
army on, 328 

Southey, Robert, poem by, 199 

Sovereign, James R., appearance of, 
342, 343; declaration of, 342, 343 

Spain, war of, with United States, 
104, 105 ; Louisiana under con- 
trol of, 122 ; land grants from, 122, 
364; mines of, 123; traders of, 
124 ; gold seekers from, 206 ; 
thwarting of, by French, 211; use 
of coins from, 301 

Speaks, Valentine, service of, as pi- 
lot, 372 

Spirit Lake Massacre, causes of, 282, 
283 

Sport, importance of, 170-172 
Sprigg, Jenifer T., survey by, 367 
Spy, A Confederate, by Bruce E. 
Mahan, 33-53 



Squatter, character of, 294 

Stafford, Mr., membership of, in the- 
atrical company, 18 

Stalwarts, reference to, 424 

Standing broad jump, records in, 144, 
148 

Standing high jump, records in, 143 
Star Spangled Banner, playing of. 
112 

State athletic association, organiza- 
tion of, 138, 139 

State Board of Canvassers, election 
returns certified to, 78, 79 

State Historical Society of Iowa, 
Mrs. Kirkwood's photograph for, 
415 

State University of Iowa, part of, in 

first field meet, 137-150 
Steamboat Rock, killing of man at, 

269; counterfeit money made at, 

270; mention of, 272 
Steamboat Rock (Mississippi River), 

accident at, 371 
Steamboats, navigation of, on Missis- 
sippi, 361, 364, 365, 366, 378; 

crossing of rapids by, 365, 366, 

367, 373; men connected with, 

366, 367 
Stevedores, name given to, 399 
Stock, selling of, by bridge company, 

308, 310, 311 
Stone, William M., message of, 91 
Stotts, J. H., record of, in track 

meet, 144, 148 
Stowaway (Scotland), port of, 382 
Strawberries, serving of, at field 

meet, 145, 149 
Stromness (Scotland), port of, 383 
Sucker (lighter-boat), building of, 

376, 377 

Suffrage, vote on amendment of, 97 
Sugar Creek, settlement on, 297 
Sulpitian missionaries, party of, 243 
Supervisors, county board of, election 

of James Wilson to, 70 ; report of, 

on election returns, 79, 80 
Supreme Court of Iowa, decision 

cited from, 79, 80; appeal to, 278; 

decision of, concerning Rainsbarger 

case, 279 

Supreme Court of the United States, 

decision of, in Riddick case, 130 
Sutherland, Alexander, migration of, 

to Iowa, 389, 390 
Sutherland, Donald, arrival of, at 

Scotch Grove, 391, 392 
Sutherland, Ebenezer, arrival of, at 

Scotch Grove, 391, 392; church in 

home of, 396 
Sutherland, John, coming of, to lowa, 

389, 390 



INDEX 



453 



Sutherland, Duchess of, attitude of 

peasants toward, 381 
Sutherland (Scotland), emigrants 

from, 379, 380 
I Sutherlandshire, parishes in, 381; 

tenants of, 381, 383; settlers from, 

386, 897 

SwiSHBE, Jacob A., The Capital on 

Wheels, 151-169 
Switzerland, emigrants from, 389 
( Svoboda, Ed., service of, as starter, 

146 

Tablaux, P. A., office of, 126 
Taft, W. H., James Wilson in cabinet 
of, 77 

Talon, Jean, service of, for France, 
210, 211, 242; Joliet chosen by, to 
explore Mississippi, 244; recall of, 
to France, 245 

Tama, opening of ballot box at, 82; 
J. Tesson at, 136 

Tama County, Scotch settlement in, 
66; Representative from, 71; con- 
struction of railroad in, 97 

Taylor, Sarah Knox, courtship of, 
354-356; departure of, from Fort 
Crawford, 357; appeal of, 357; 
marriage of, 357; death of, 357 

Taylor, Zachary, mention of, 129, 
357; arrival of, at Fort Crawford, 
349; family of, 349; relations of, 
with Jefferson Davis, 350, 355, 
356, 357 

Taylor Township (Marshall County), 
election returns from, 78, 80, 81, 
82 

Telegrams, mention of, 423, 424 
Temperance, supporter of, 97 
Tennis, matches for, 141, 145, 146 
Tesson, Edward, mention of, 136 
Tesson, Francis, mention of, 136 
Tesson, Joseph, mention of, 136 
Tesson, Louis, service of, 364; sur- 
vey of land of, for town sites, 367 
Tesson, Louis Honors, land grant to, 
122, 123, 124, 128, 133; voyages 
of, on Mississippi, 123 ; visits of, 
to Sac Indians, 123 ; contract of, 
with Spanish officials, 125 ; im- 
provements on farm of, 125 ; fam- 
ily of, 125, 135, 136; difficulties 
encountered by, 125, 126, 127; 
meeting of, with Z. M. Pike, 127; 
disappearance of, 128 
Tesson, Michael, mention of, 136 
! Tesson's Apple Orchard, by Ben Hue 

Wilson, 121-131 
! Tete des Mort, voyageurs at, 227 
Texas (battleship), position of, in 
harbor, 105 



Thespians, The Iowa, by Bruce E. 
Mahan, 14-24 

Thirteenth General Assembly, organ- 
ization of, 94; herd law in, 94-97 

Thompson, Jacob, campaign led by, 
37, 38, 39, 40; implication of, in 
assassination of Lincoln, 50 

Three-legged race, forfeiture of, 147, 
148 

Three Rivers (Canada), mention of, 
207, 242; Marquette at, 230, 231 

Throckmorton, Joseph, steamer com- 
manded by, 367 

Timber, securing of, 347 

Titus, Ellis, membership of, in Pleas- 
ant Hill Dramatic Club, 26 

Titus, Frances, meeting held at home 
of, 26 

Titus, Vira, membership of, in Pleas- 
ant Hill Dramatic Club, 26 

Torrey, C. A., service of, as timer, 
146 

Track meets, introduction of, at the 
State University, 137, 138 

Track suits, introduction of, in Iowa, 
142 

Traders, visit of, to Tesson, 125 
Trades Assembly Hall, meeting at, 
340 

Traer, John W., resolution of, for re- 
moval of national capital, 164 
Traer, Scotch settlement near, 66 
Traer Star-Clipper, editor of, 66, 67 
Trains, capture of, 327, 328, 334 
Transports, capture of, 36 
Transylvania University, mention of, 

348, 349 
Trappist monks, visit to, 227 
Trudeau, Zenon, land grant issued 
by, 124 

Tug of war, forfeiture of, 147, 148 
"Turn Him Out", performance of, 26, 
27 

Tuttle, J. M., appointment of, as del- 
egate to National Capital Conven- 
tion, 156 

Twain, Mark, dialect used by charac- 
ters of, 399; reference to, 402 

Twelfth General Assembly, James 
Wilson in, 90; railroad legislation 
in, 90-94; message to, 91 

Two hundred and twenty yard run, 
records in, 143, 144, 148 

Typhoid fever, siege of, on vessel, 
883 

Umbrella, offer of, as prize, 141, 144 
Underwood, Myron, post-mortem ex- 
amination held by, 278; attack on, 
274, 275, 278; testimony of, 276; 
office of, 278 



454 



THE PALIMPSEST 



Unemployed, army of, 325-327 
Unemployment, plan for relief of, 325 
Union Pacific Railroad, capture of 

train of, 328; cars of, 334 
United States, protection of northern 
boundary of, 37; depredations on 
coast of, 40; prisoner extradited to, 
50; produce merchants in, 53; war 
of, with Mexico, 54; prices in, 61; 
shipment of butter from, 74, 75 ; 
war of, with Spain, 104, 105; en- 
trance of, into World War, 110; 
first land grant to Iowa by, 128; 
Indian agent of, 134, 135; ceding 
of land to, by Indians, 136; pro- 
posals to move capital of, 151-169; 
organized sport in, 170-172 ; Presi- 
dent of, 352, 428, 429; territory 
taken by, 363 ; sheep shipped from, 
388 

United States army, Davis' resigna- 
tion from, 356 

United States Arsenal, voyageurs at, 
227 

United States Dragoons, companies 

of, in Iowa, 129 
Upper Iowa College, participation of, 

in State field meet, 148 
Upper Mississippi Valley, guarding 

of, 347; conduct of Jefferson Davis 

in, 357 

Upper Scotch Grove, settlement of, 
394 

Ure, S. R., record of, in field meet, 
147 

Valentine, Edward K., request of, 81 

Vandemark, Jacob, story of, 266 

Vandemark Township, history of, 266 

Vandemark' s Folly, message in, 253 ; 
incidents in, 254, 255, 256, 257, 
260, 261, 262; quotations from, 
260; characters in, 261; estimate 
of, 262, 263, 264 

Van Ek, Jacob, A Contested Elec- 
tion, 78-89 

Ventures in Wheat, by J. M. D. Bur- 
rows, 53-62 

Vicksburg (Mississippi), siege of, 
175; mention of, 357 

Vidette-Reporter, The, comment by, 
on athletic training, 140 

Vigilance society, formation of, 274; 
exploits of, 274, 275, 276 

Virginia, John Y. Beall from, 34, 35; 
attacks along coast of, 36; march 
to, 39; Iowa off coast of, 109, 110; 
emigrants from, 400 

Virginia (steamer), ascent of, over 
rapids, 365, 366 

Vizcaya (battleship), destruction of. 



105, 106, 107, 108; rescue of crew 

from, 108 
Voiles, Charles, killing of, 269 
Voting, privilege of, 72 
Voyageurs of 1923, expedition of, 

216-228 
Wages, lowering of, 325 
Wainwright, Richard, Admiral Cer- 

vera escorted by, 108, 109 
Wales, emigrants from, 296 
Wallace, Jocelyn, An Iowa Doone 

Band, 267-280 
Walnut Creek, camp at, 339 
War, poem relating to, 6 ; declaration 

of, 57 

War, Department of, survey made 
for, 362 

War, Secretary of, refusal of request 
by, 51; orders of, to Indian agents, 
134; report to, 368 

''War Correspondent", statement of, 
337, 338 

Warren, Mr., membership of, in the- 
atrical company, 18 
Warren, Fitz Henry, trial held by, 51 
Warren County (Pennsylvania), R. 

J. Burdette in, 191 
Warrior (steamer), voyage of, 366 
Warships, American, 102, 104 
Warships, Spanish, 103, 104, 105 
Washington (D. C), James Wilson's 
home in, 72 ; agricultural labora- 
tories at, 73; visitors in, 84; offi- 
cials from, 101; proposal to move 
capital from, 151-169; Coxey's 
army in, 325, 326; Kelly's army 
at, 327, 341, 342, 344, 345; soci- 
ety in, 415, 416; Kirkwood's statue 
at, 417; Kirkwood in, 421 
Washington Hotel (Dubuque), men- 
tion of, 24 
Washington Post, report by, 424, 425 
"Waterman, The", performance of, 
22 

Weather, reports of, 75 

Weaver, James B., Kelly's army aid- 
ed by, 339, 340, 343; speech of, 
840; supporters of, 420; votes for, 
428 

Weeks, John W., position of, 428 
Weld, Laenas G., Pointing the Way, 
205-214 

West, Jim, boat piloted by, 372 
West, Joshua, telegram sent by, 272 
West, new products for, 76 ; demand 
for removal of national capital to, 
151-169; characterization of, 321- 
323, 358, 359; dissatisfaction in, 
358-360; politics of, 358, 359 
West Newton (steamer), accident to, 
371 



INDEX 



455 



West Point, Jefferson Davis at, 346 
West Virginia, Kelly's army in, 344 
Western Engineer (steamer), arrival 

of, at rapids, 364 
Western Reserve Law Journal, arti- 
cle in, 406 
Weston, Kelly's army at, 334, 335 
Wheat, speculation in, 53-62; price 
of, 54, 55, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62; 
I freight on, 59; crop of, 59; loss of 
I cargo of, 61 
Wheat, Ventures in, by J. M, D. 

Burrows, 53-62 
Wheeler, C. T., business of, 58 
Wheeling (West Virginia), proposed 

march to, 39 
Whiskey, use of, 290, 291 
Whiskey Rebellion, mention of, 358 
Whisler, Mr., purchase of wheat from, 
56 

Whitmore, Mr., farm of, 119 
Willcox, W. v., post-mortem examina- 
tion held by, 272, 273 
William Wallace (steamer), voyage 
of, 366 

Wilson, Ben Hur, service of, 250 
Wilson, Ben Hur, Over the Rapids, 
361-378 

Wilson, Ben Hur, lesson's Apple 
Orchard, 121-131 

Wilson, Hiram, vote of, for removal 
of national capital, 154 

Wilson, James, characterization of, 
65-77; early life of, 66; editorial 
work of, 66, 67; political activities 
of, 66, 67, 70-78, 80, 90, 91, 94, 97, 
98, 429 ; education of, 68 ; farm of, 
69, 70; relation of, with farmers, 
69-77; scientific study of agricul- 
ture by, 70, 71 ; national recogni- 
tion of, 71, 72 ; dairy problem in- 
vestigated by, 74, 75 ; defeat of, 
78 ; popularity of, 78 ; election con- 
test of, 83, 89; speech by, 88, 98; 
attitude of, on railroads, 92, 93 ; 
herd law advocated by, 94, 95, 96; 
attitude of, on prohibition and 
equal suffrage, 97; election of, as 
Speaker of the House, 97, 98 

Wilson, James F., appointment of, as 
delegate to National Capital Con- 
vention, 156 

Wilson, John, character of, 67 

Wilson, Mrs. John, character of, 67 

Wilson, Peter, farm of, 66; service 
of, in Civil War, 70 

Wilson, "Tama Jim", (see Wilson, 
James) 

Wilson, West, farm of, 66 



Wilson, Woodrow, quotation from, 
358 

Windsor (Canada), Confederates at, 

38, 40, 49 
Winnebago (steamer), voyage of, 366 
Winnipeg (Canada), Scotch at, 384 
Winter of Eighty-One, The, by Jo- 
sephine Barry Donovan, 113- 
120 

Wisconsin, story of, 346; timber 
from, 347, 348; Indians in, 349, 
350, 352 

Wisconsin (Territory), division of, 
285 

Wisconsin (steamer), voyage of, 366 

Wisconsin River, mention of, 121, 
249, 301; portage at, 209, 349; 
expedition on, 213, 216; crossing 
of, by Burrows, 302, 303 

Wolf Creek (Tama County), Scotch 
settlement on, 66 

Women, needs of, on farms, 76, 77 

Woodbury, E., record of, in field 
meet, 148 

Woodbury, G. M,, appointment of, as 
delegate to National Capital Con- 
vention, 156 

Woodbury County, political incident 
in, 283, 284 

Woodmen of the World, aid given to 
Kelly's army by, 334 

Woodruff, James E., business inter- 
ests of, 53; foresight of, 55; visit 
to, 57; advice of, 57, 58; shipping 
of grain to, 61 

Woodruff Brothers, firm of, 53 

World War, part of Iowa in, 110; 
names on muster rolls of, 397 

Wright, Mr., membership of, in the- 
atrical company, 18 

Wright, George G., speech by, 409 

Wright, James D., resolution by, 
against appropriations for build- 
ings at Washington, 162 

Xavier, Francois, mission of, 236; 
remarks by, 239; report of, 362 

Yankees, firing of, on schooner, 86; 

terrorizing of, 39 
Yates, Richard, capital removal advo- 
cated by, 168 
Yellow River, sawmill on, 350 
Yewell portrait, unveiling of, 410 
York Factory (Canada), Scots at, 
383, 384 

Young, John S., arrest made by, 50 
Zmunt, W., baseball throw of, 147 



■A 



THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 
OF IOWA 



Elstablished by the Pioneers in 1857 
Located at Iowa City Iowa 



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